Graham: Trump's attacks on minority congresswomen more 'narcissism' than racism

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial Democratic group plans mobile billboard targeting Collins on impeachment Paul predicts no Republicans will vote to convict Trump MORE (R-S.C.) renewed his defense of President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE on Wednesday in light of his recent attacks on a group of minority congresswomen, saying that the remarks were "more narcissism than anything else."

"I really do believe that if you're a Somali refugee who likes Trump, he's not going to say 'go back to Somalia,' " Graham said, apparently referencing Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarAyanna Pressley's 'squad' of congresswomen offers support after she opens up about alopecia With surge in anti-Semitism, political leaders need to be aggressive and reflective in response Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair endorses Sanders MORE (D-Minn.), according to NBC News.

"A racist says go back to Somalia because you're a Somalian or you're a Muslim or whatever, that's just the way he is. More narcissism than anything else."

Graham later added that he was "making a joke," adding that he didn't "like the idea" of telling anyone to "go back" to the place they're from. 

"I think you can make the case that he’s a narcissist more than you can make he's a racist," the South Carolina Republican said. "I mean, I don’t like the idea of telling somebody who’s an American citizen to go home, this is their home."

"When you accuse the guy of running concentration camps you probably aren't going to get a high-minded response," Graham continued, referring to some Democrats' comparison of migrant detention centers to concentration camps. "My point is I really do believe if you support him it’s different than if you don’t. It’s not about being from Somalia, it’s about whether you support him or not." 

The Hill has reached out to Graham's office for additional comment.


The comments from Graham came just days after Trump told four freshman House Democrats to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came" before speaking out about how the United States government should be run. 

Trump also claimed that the congresswomen, all U.S. citizens, "came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe."

His comments were aimed at Omar and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.). Omar, who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Somalia, is the only one among the four who was born in a foreign country.

Several Democratic lawmakers, as well as multiple GOP lawmakers, have condemned the comments as racist. The House on Tuesday voted to condemn Trump's tweets as racist.

Four Republicans, as well as Independent Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashOvernight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall House votes to send impeachment articles to Senate Amash: Trump claim about US embassy threats 'seems to be totally made up' MORE (Mich.), joined every Democrat in approving the resolution. 

Graham earlier this week urged Trump to focus on denouncing Democrats' policies instead of waging personal attacks. But he also echoed some of the president's statements, stating that the congresswomen "hate our own country."

Trump has stood by his comments, repeatedly saying that the lawmakers can leave the country if they are not happy.