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

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhite House won't move forward with billions in foreign aid cuts GOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Cindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death MORE (R-S.C.) renewed his defense of President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future 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 OmarTrump to return to North Carolina to stump for special election candidate Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Israel should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support 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 AmashLawmakers blast Trump as Israel bars door to Tlaib and Omar House Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 Sanford headed to New Hampshire amid talk of challenge to Trump 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.