Graham on his visit with McCain: 'No talking about funerals'

Graham on his visit with McCain: 'No talking about funerals'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars DOJ: Dem subpoena for Mueller report is 'premature and unnecessary' Dems reject Barr's offer to view Mueller report with fewer redactions MORE (R-S.C.) said Thursday that his colleague Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCain10 factors making Russia election interference the most enduring scandal of the Obama era Earth Day founder's daughter: Most Republican leaders believe in climate change in private Trump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing MORE (R-Ariz.) is "stabilizing," pushing back on characterizations about the Arizona Republican's health in press reports.

Graham gave the update to reporters about McCain, his closest friend in the Senate, after spending two days in Arizona with the 81-year-old senator, who is battling brain cancer.

"He's stabilizing. Don't believe what you read in the paper. I was concerned when I went. I'm thinking now about my next trip," Graham said.

"No talking about funerals. We're not at 2022 yet, but I'll let you know," he added, referring to the end of McCain's current term.


Graham spent two days with McCain, describing the visit as "like the good old days" with the two watching the movie "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" and discussing Middle East policy.

"He's got a healthy appetite. A healthy sense of humor. Stabilizing. Great visit. We laughed. We cried. We watched movies. ... If you could have reported the commentary it would have taken the movie to a new level. It would have been R-rated, though," Graham quipped.

McCain has been absent from Washington since late last year after the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix announced in July that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer.

He has stayed involved in Senate business since then, however, returning in July to help kill the GOP ObamaCare repeal bill and urging the Senate this week to block CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel from leading the spy agency.

Graham isn't the only colleague who has met with McCain recently, with GOP Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakePollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge Trump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing Flake opens up about threats against him and his family MORE (Ariz.) stopping by last week and former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenWarren unveils plan to cancel student loan debt, create universal free college Moulton enters 2020 White House race The Hill's Morning Report - Is impeachment back on the table? MORE visiting late last month.

Graham added on Thursday that he was "pleasantly surprised" by his visit, but deflected a question about if McCain could return to the Senate to vote against Haspel's nomination.

"What I'm looking at is for him to get his strength back where he can have longer days of interaction and just take ... one foot in front of the other," he said. "I was pleasantly surprised. ... It did more for me than probably him. It charged my batteries."