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Graham dismisses Scarborough slam he 'sold his soul' for Trump

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Election night could be a bit messy The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden blitz battleground states Late donor surges push election spending projections to new heights MORE (R-S.C.) on Tuesday dismissed criticism from MSNBC host Joe ScarboroughCharles (Joe) Joseph ScarboroughScarborough: Putin more likely to take tough question than Trump Michael Keaton urges Biden not to debate Trump again: 'You won. Walk away' Joe Scarborough urges Biden: 'Do not do anymore debates' MORE, stating in an interview on Fox News Radio that one thing he's "not going to worry about is pleasing Joe Scarborough."

The push back comes after Scarborough, who left the Republican Party last year after saying he could not be in a party that backed President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign slams Facebook after thousands of ads blocked by platform's pre-election blackout Mnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' Harris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden MORE, said Graham had "sold his soul" by supporting the president on a number of issues.

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Scarborough's comments on Graham came Tuesday morning, with the former GOP congressman arguing the South Carolina senator was only supporting Trump to solidify his standing among Republican voters in his state going into the 2020 senatorial primary.

“Lindsey Graham has a Republican primary in 2020,” Scarborough said. “He was having trouble in the state of South Carolina and recent polls show that among Republican senators he has one of the better approval ratings with the rank and file in the Republican Party in the state of South Carolina.”

“He basically ... sold his political soul for, you know, 20 percentage points inside his own Republican Party. I guess, unlike John McCainJohn Sidney McCainWho is 'Anonymous' author Miles Taylor? Why Biden could actually win Texas Trump fights for battleground Arizona MORE, Lindsey Graham didn’t have the confidence and the assurance in his voters that he could speak truth to power and still get reelected in his state,” he added. 

The "Morning Joe" host also said Graham was acting differently than the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was one of Graham's closest friends and was critical of the president up until his death in August.

“I’m a senator from South Carolina, people want me to help this president," Graham, a vocal Trump ally on Capitol Hill, told host Brian Kilmeade. "And we have disagreements and when we do I try to work through them.”

“Cable chatter is just cable chatter, and nothing is going to change my relationship with Sen. McCain," he continued. "He was a big influence on my life, taught me a lot about foreign policy. I think President Trump is doing a very, very good job, and I’m certain he’s going to get reelected. I really believe that.”

Kilmeade described Graham as doing "play-by-play" in praising or criticizing Trump by going issue-to-issue from a foreign policy perspective.

“Senator, by the way, actually, everything that you stand for, you want to get more aggressive in Venezuela, you’re stronger on North Korea now and the president used to be somewhat reserved," Kilmeade said.

“You’re happy you’re taking action against China. You’re not happy he made comments against Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden Florida heat sends a dozen Trump rally attendees to hospital Harris more often the target of online misinformation than Pence: report MORE. You’re doing play-by-play," he said. "You’re not going out of your way to rip him, but I think you’re being totally consistent with who you are. There’s not one thing you’re saying that you don’t believe. You’re in current by President Trump’s aggressive approach to our chronic problems.”

The senator replied saying that he simply could not worry about the MSNBC host's comments.

“Yeah. But one thing I’m not going to worry about is pleasing Joe Scarborough. It’s not on my list," Graham replied.