Lindsey Graham: GOP can't 'move forward without President Trump'

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamProgressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC Senate confirms Garland's successor to appeals court Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema MORE (R-S.C.) on Thursday said the Republican Party can’t “move forward” without former President TrumpDonald TrumpKushner lands book deal, slated for release in 2022 Biden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Progressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC MORE.

Graham made the remarks in an interview with Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityBook claims Trump believed Democrats would replace Biden with Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama in 2020 election 9 Republicans not named Trump who could run in 2024 Fox Nation to stream primetime Fox News shows in full MORE on Fox News. The comment comes as Republicans seek to remove their third-ranking House member, Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyGOP's Stefanik defends Trump DOJ secret subpoenas McCarthy pushes back on Biden criticism of GOP at NATO Democrat Matt Putorti challenges Stefanik for NY House seat MORE (R-Wyo.), from her leadership post amid her continue criticisms of the former president.

“I would just say to my Republican colleagues, can we move forward without President Trump? The answer is no,” Graham said.


“I’ve always liked Liz Cheney, but she’s made a determination that the Republican Party can’t grow with President Trump. I’ve determined we can’t grow without him.”

Graham added that the GOP is making inroads with minorities due to Trump’s “economic populism” and “America First agenda.”

“If you don’t get that, you’re making the biggest mistake in the history of the Republican Party,” Graham said.

The comments come as the GOP grapples with Trump’s role in the party going forward.

Graham, a longtime ally of Trump, previously told "Axios on HBO” that Trump could either make the GOP “bigger” and “stronger” or that he could “destroy it.”


“He could make it bigger. He could make it stronger. He could make it more diverse,” Graham said at the time. “And he also could destroy it.”

Trump’s grip on the party is being demonstrated by House Republicans’ second attempt to remove Cheney from her leadership post, which seems more likely to succeed the second time around.

Cheney has come under fire from fellow Republicans in recent months for her criticisms of Trump, which included her vote to impeach him for inciting the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

Her likely successor as chair of the Houser Republican Conference, Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikHouse fails to pass bill to promote credit fairness for LGTBQ-owned businesses GOP's Stefanik defends Trump DOJ secret subpoenas McCarthy pushes back on Biden criticism of GOP at NATO MORE (R-N.Y.), is a staunch Trump supporter.

In an op-ed for The Washington Post on Wednesday, Cheney said the party should move way from “the Trump cult of personality.”