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Graham says he hopes that Trump runs again

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Saturday that he hopes former President Trump runs again in 2024, The Detroit News reported.

During the second day of the Michigan Republican Party's leadership conference, Graham said he hopes Trump will run again, which reportedly drew applause.

"I don't think Trump is listening. He might be," Graham said, according to the news outlet. "I hope President Trump runs again."

The comments came days after Trump publicly criticized Graham and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) following a report in "Peril," the new book by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, that the senators vetted Trump's claims about the 2020 presidential election. They were allegedly "unpersuaded" by what was presented to them. 

In a statement through his Save America PAC, Trump said Graham and Lee "should be ashamed of themselves for not putting up the fight necessary to win."

Graham did not respond to Trump's comments about him during his 25-minute speech, according to The Detroit News. However, Graham, who remained an ally to the former president throughout his time in office, said that he and Trump "found common ground." 

"People ask me, 'What happened with you and Trump?'" Graham reportedly told the crowd. "I say we found common ground. I've come to like him, and he likes him."

According to the news outlet, Graham also ran through a list of what he said were accomplishments by the former president during his four years in office, including bringing "order" to the southern border. He also commended Trump's efforts to appoint conservative judges and cut taxes, according to the news source.

The South Carolina senator also praised the development of the coronavirus vaccine under the Trump administration, an effort that was dubbed Operation Warp Speed. Graham called it "the most significant medical accomplishment, maybe in the history of the country."

"President Trump, thank you for making it available to the world. You saved a lot of lives," he added. 

Graham said Trump can be "a handful" but added, in his opinion, that he is one of the important presidents in American history.

"I believe there's magic there," Graham said. "[He's] got to turn it down a notch. But there's magic there."

The comments from Graham come amid speculation that Trump will launch a 2024 bid. Earlier this year, Trump was asked by Candace Owens if he would run again.

"The answer is I'm absolutely enthused. I look forward to doing an announcement at the right time," Trump said. 

"As you know, it's very early. But I think people are going to be very, very happy when I make a certain announcement," Trump told Owens.

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