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McCain Advisor Has the Most On Point Explanation for Why Lindsey Graham Seems to Betray All His Principles for Trump

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images // Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has befuddled Americans everywhere over the past few years with his flip-flopping and apparent abandonment of what appeared to be firmly-held principles.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Graham called President Donald Trump a "complete idiot" and said if Republican's nominated him, they'd be destroyed and they'd deserve it.

Since Trump's inauguration, however, Graham has been a near-unwavering ally to the President, defending some of Trump's most indefensible actions. This is despite Trump constantly insulting the late Senator John McCain (R-AZ) even after his death. McCain was one of Graham's lifelong friends.


Graham flipped again when it came to Trump's impeachment.

Resurfaced comments from the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton show Graham taking diametrically opposite positions on impeachment than the ones he takes today.

So what changed? Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, who worked as a senior advisor and strategist on John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, has the answer.

"People try to analyze Lindsey through the prism of the manifest inconsistencies that exist between things that he used to believe and what he's doing now. The way to understand him is to look at what's consistent. And essentially what he is in American politics is what, in the aquatic world, would be a pilot fish: a smaller fish that hovers about a larger predator, like a shark, living off of its detritus. That's Lindsey. And when he swam around the McCain shark, broadly viewed as a virtuous and good shark, Lindsey took on the patina of virtue. But wherever the apex shark is, you find the Lindsey fish hovering about, and Trump's the newest shark in the sea. Lindsey has a real draw to power — but he's found it unattainable on his own merits."

Schmidt's comments were given to Rolling Stone for a new profile called How Lindsey Graham Lost His Way.

His explanation was the perfect metaphor for many.









Graham's 2020 opponent, Jaime Harrison, recently broke a fundraising record. You can help him break the next one by donating here.