Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., came out firing at former President Donald Trump after the acquittal Saturday, but he wound up hitting the entire party in the crossfire, according to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
"I think Sen. McConnell's speech, he got a load off his chest, obviously, but unfortunately he put a load on the back of Republicans," Graham told "Fox News Sunday." "That speech you will see in 2022 campaigns."
McConnell called Trump's Jan. 6 actions "a disgraceful dereliction of duty" and said Trump was "practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day" – something that does the Republican Party no favors going forward.
"I would imagine if you're a Republican running in Arizona or Georgia or New Hampshire, where we have a chance to take back the Senate, they may be playing Sen. McConnell's speech and asking you about it as a candidate," Graham told host Chris Wallace. "And I imagine if you're an incumbent Republican, they're going to be people asking if you will support Sen. McConnell in the future."
Graham said of McConnell, "I like him," but called his post-acquittal takedown of the former president "an outlier of how Republicans feel about all this."
"Trump-plus is the way back in 2022," Graham told host Chris Wallace.
Graham called the House Democrat impeachment managers' presentation "an affront to the rule of law" in a trial that was a "complete joke," and they "failed miserably in making the case."
"If you use this model, I don't know how Kamala Harris doesn't get impeached if the Republicans take over the House, because she actually bailed out rioters, and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody's head open," Graham said. "So we've opened Pandora's box here, and I'm sad for the country."
Graham called out anti-Trump Republican rhetoric as hypocrisy and being just as inflammatory and dangerous as they considered Trump to be.
"To my Republican colleagues, this is a two-way street," Graham concluded. "Ninety percent of the Republican Party thought this was a partisan exercise, that's what I thought, he is out of office. So, to the Republican Party, if you want to win and stop a socialist agenda, we need to work with President Trump. We can't do it without him.
"And, to you President Trump, you need to build the Republican Party stronger. I'm into winning, and if you want to get something off your chest, fine, but I'm into winning."
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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