Without a mention of John McCain after breaking from the president's criticism of his late friend, Sen. Lindsey Graham delivered loyalty and laughs in a light-hearted, GOP fundraiser speech Friday as President Donald Trump looked on, Politico reported.
"If Lindsey's speaking, I want to come down here for two reasons," President Trump said, per a video posted by a Politico reporter. "No. 1: He's a great speaker; and No. 2, I know if I'm here, he's not going to say anything bad about me."
The media was shut out of attending the annual Lincoln Day Dinner, a Palm Beach County Republican Party fundraiser, per the report. President Trump had not planned to attend, but he did announce Sen. Graham after having dinner with the first lady Melania and his son Barron, according to attendees.
"We found a lot in common: I like him and he likes him," a jovial Graham joked in a light-hearted speech, those in attendance told Politico.
Among the other one-liners from Graham, who spoke "off the cuff," according to Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop:
- On hailing the move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem: "There will be a Trump hotel there in 10 years," he cracked.
- Graham jokingly asked the crowd if they wanted to see former Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., on the Supreme Court. Gowdy was in attendance and "mingling with the president," according to Politico.
- After the crowd started a "lock her up" chant about Hillary Clinton, Graham quipped: "Don't lock her up! We want her to run again."
"Pretty typical Lindsey," one attendee told Politico of the 30-minute speech, which President Trump arrived for and left when it was done.
The following from the Trump inner-circle and Florida GOP were in attendance, per the report.
- Emcee ex-Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
- Donald Trump Jr. and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle.
- Florida Lt. Gov Jeanette Núñez.
- Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla.
- Former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla.
- Republican National Committee co-chair Tommy Hicks, Jr.
- Conservative activist James O'Keefe.
One topic that was not broached, as the Mueller report was delivered to the Justice Department, was the Russia investigation.
"Nobody mentioned anything, other than all of us saw our phones and knew the report dropped," an attendee told Politico.
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