Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, has offered a warning to former President Donald Trump that the violent insurrection his supporters carried out against the U.S. Capitol could be his "political obituary" if he doesn't get over his 2020 election loss.
Trump, who made false accusations about the election process, urged his supporters to "fight like hell" and to march to the U.S. Capitol in a bid to keep him in office on January 6, as both chambers of Congress met to formally certify President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory. Hundreds of Trump's supporters proceeded to attack the U.S. Capitol, with many threatening to harm or kill top lawmakers, including then-Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
"What I say to him is, 'Do you want January the 6th to be your political obituary?'" Graham, an ally of the former president, told The New York Times for an article published on Saturday. "'Because if you don't get over it, it's going to be.'"Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) warns former President Donald Trump that January 6 could be his "political obituary." In this photo, Graham arrives to speak with Trump during a rally at Bojangles' Coliseum on March 2, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images
During a July interview with Fox News, Trump was asked about the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Although the former president avoided addressing the riot specifically, he spoke favorably of his supporters who attended the nearby rally directly prior to the insurrection.
The former president praised the "spirit and faith and love" of the attendees of the January 6 event, saying "there was such love at that rally." He also described Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt—who was shot and killed by a law enforcement official during the Capitol assault—as an "innocent, wonderful, incredible woman."
Ten House Republicans voted along with House Democrats to impeach Trump for inciting the violence of January 6. Although seven GOP Senators and every member of the Senate's Democratic Caucus voted to convict the former president after he was impeached, those 57 votes fell short of the two-thirds majority required by the Constitution for a successful "guilty" verdict. The proceedings marked the most bipartisan impeachment and conviction votes against a president in U.S. history.
Graham did not vote to convict Trump; however, he blamed the former president for the violence of January 6. The Republican senator said in January that Trump's "actions were the problem" leading to the attack, asserting that his reputation had been "tarnished."
Later in February, he asserted that Trump would be remembered in history for the insurrection.
"Well, I mean, he's going to have a place in history for all of this," Graham told CBS News' Face the Nation at the time.
Despite those remarks, Graham has worked to maintain close ties with the former president. The South Carolina lawmaker has said that Trump remains the central figure of the modern Republican Party. Graham has asserted that the GOP is now "the Trump party" and has said that Republicans can't "move forward" without the former president.
Newsweek reached out to Trump's press office for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.