Senate

Audio: Graham said after Jan. 6 that Biden was ‘best person to have’

New audio reveals that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that President Biden was the “best person to have” leading the country in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol. 

During an episode of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” on Tuesday, New York Times reporters Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin shared audio in which Graham can be heard discussing how the country will rally together in the aftermath of the Capitol insurrection. 

Burns and Martin report on the audio in their new book, “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future.”

“We’ll actually come out of this thing stronger. Moments like this reset. People will calm down. People will say, ‘I don’t want to be associated with that,’” Graham says in the audio clip. “This is a group within a group. What this does, there will be a rallying effect for a while, the country says, ‘We’re better than this.'” 

When asked if Biden will help unite the country, Graham agreed, saying that he was the best person to have at that moment. 

“Biden will help that, right?” Martin asks Graham in the audio clip. 

“Totally, he’ll be maybe the best person to have, right. I mean, how mad can you get at Joe Biden?” Graham replied. 

In response to The Hill’s request for comment, Graham’s office said he “has repeatedly said the Joe Biden we see as president is not the one we saw when he served in the Senate.”

“He’s pursued a far left agenda as President,” the statement added.

After Biden, in a statement that same day, called the Capitol riot an “insurrection,” Graham tweeted that he “could not agree more.”

“I could not agree more with President-elect Biden’s statement to the nation,” he said in a tweet. “Time to retake the Capitol, end the violence, & stop the madness. Time to move forward in governing our nation. Our differences are real but the love of our nation overwhelms our differences.

The South Carolina Republican had appeared to break with then-President Trump in the immediate aftermath of the Capitol breach, though he has since returned to his position as a staunch Trump supporter.

Graham said in November his personal friendship with Biden hit a breaking point after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer. 

“I’ve known Joe Biden for a long time, I had a good personal relationship with him. He’s a decent man. But what he did in Afghanistan, I will never forgive him for. He has blood on his hands, and he’s made America less safe,” he said during an appearance on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom.”

In another audio excerpt from Burns and Martin’s new book, Graham criticized Trump for his actions involving the Capitol insurrection, saying he “want too far.”

Updated at 10:36 a.m.

Tags CNN CNN Jan 6 attack Jan 6 attack Joe Biden Lindsey Graham Lindsey Graham Lindsey Graham President Biden President Biden President Trump President Trump

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