Lindsey Graham on Donald Trump

Quotes by Senator Lindsey Graham on Donald Trump


2015 - 2016
2017 - 2019

Lindsey Graham on Donald Trump Then
Lindsey Graham on Donald Trump Now

#LindseyGraham 7/21/15: "❲Donald Trump is❳ the world’s biggest jackass." » #Graham 10/9/17: "Really enjoyed a round of golf with President @realDonaldTrump today…Great fun. Great host." Click To Tweet

Quotes by Senator Lindsey Graham on Donald Trump


2015 - 2016

Lindsey Graham on Donald Trump Then
“I think he’s hijacked the debate. I think he’s a wrecking ball for the future of the Republican Party with the Hispanic community and we need to push back. This is a defining moment for the Republican Party. We need to reject this…

“I’m very worried about where we’re headed as a party. I don’t think this is the way to get the Latino vote. If we do not reject this way of thinking clearly, without any ambiguity, we will have lost our way. If we don’t reject it, we’ve lost the moral authority, in my view, to govern this country.”
- July 12, 2015

CNN, July 12, 2015
Graham on Trump: He came in like a 'wrecking ball'

(retrieved 10/2/18)
“If there was ever any doubt that @realDonaldTrump should not be our commander in chief, this stupid statement should end all doubt.”
“At the heart of @realDonaldTrump statement is a lack of respect for those who have served – a disqualifying characteristic to be president.”
“What he said about John [McCain], I think, was offensive. He’s becoming a jackass at a time when we need to have a serious debate about the future of the party and the country. This is a line he’s crossed, and this is the beginning of the end of Donald Trump… I am really pissed.”
- July 21, 2015

CNN, July 21, 2015
Lindsey Graham: Donald Trump is a 'jackass'

(retrieved 10/2/18)
starts at beginning

“I don’t care if he drops out. Stay in the race, just stop being a jackass. I’m looking for him to be a responsible member of the 16-person primary and stop saying stuff like this… You know, run for president, but don’t be the world’s biggest jackass.”
- July 21, 2015

CBS News, July 21, 2015
Lindsey Graham to Trump: 'Stop being a jackass'

(retrieved 10/2/18)
“.@RealDonaldTrump unrelenting & offensive comments about @MegynKelly puts the @GOP at a crossroads w/Mr. Trump”
“[Trump’s immigration plan is] gibberish [and] nonsensical… That’s just not practical, that’s going to kill the Republican Party… [Trump] has no idea what the world is actually like.”
- Aug 17, 2015

CNN, Aug 17, 2015
Lindsey Graham: Donald Trump's proposals are 'gibberish'

(retrieved 10/2/18)
“Donald Trump’s plan on immigration is stupid… I find him offensive. His solution is just constitutionally flawed. It’s not practical.”
- Aug 25, 2015
“I think the wall Donald Trump is building is between us and Hispanics… Pay attention to the guy on national security. He makes no sense.”
- Sept 2, 2015

MSNBC (via The Hill), Sept 2, 2015
Graham: Trump building a wall between GOP, Hispanics

(retrieved 10/2/18)
“Donald Trump gets his foreign policy from watching television – the Cartoon Network.”
“Our nation is at a crossroads. We need a president with a nat’l security plan, not a few talking points.”
“[Trump’s nomination] would be an utter, complete and total disaster. If you’re a xenophobic, race-baiting, religious bigot, you’re going to have a hard time being president of the United States, and you’re going to do irreparable damage to the party
I said [to major GOP donors], ‘If you care about the future of the Republican Party, and you want to have a viable Republican Party, you better start moving.’ If they don’t push back, they’ll have nobody to blame but themselves.”
- Dec 1, 2015

New York Times, Dec 1, 2015
Wary of Donald Trump, G.O.P. Leaders Are Caught in a Standoff

(retrieved 10/2/18)
“I believe Donald Trump is destroying the Republican Party… You think you’re going to win an election with that sort of garbage?”
- Dec 3, 2015

The Hill, Dec 3, 2015
Graham turns on Cruz, GOP's attitudes toward Hispanics, abortion

(retrieved 10/2/18)
“@Realdonaldtrump has gone from making absurd comments to being downright dangerous with his bombastic rhetoric.”
“What Mr. Trump is doing — and I don’t think he has a clue about anything. He’s just just trying to get his numbers up and get the biggest reaction he can. He is helping the enemy of this nation. He is empowering radical Islam
“What Mr. Trump is doing is undercutting everything we stand for. Going to a military high school, Donald, is not military service. You’ve never worn the uniform… So knock it off. You’re putting people at risk…
“You know how you make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell. He’s a race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot. He doesn’t represent my party. He doesn’t represent the values that the men and women who wear the uniform are fighting for… He’s the ISIL man of the year
“I wish he would leave the party. I don’t care if he runs as an independent. If we lose the 2016 election. So be it… I want to be in a category of 1% who said ‘B.S., this is not who we are at a party, this is not who we are as a nation.’ And I’m calling on Ted Cruz, you’re trying to have it both ways here…
“This is not a policy debate, Ted. This is about you and us and our character as a party. Up your game. Condemn it, because it needs to be condemned.”
- Dec 8, 2015

CNN, Dec 8, 2015
Lindsey Graham: 'Tell Donald Trump to go to hell'

(retrieved 10/2/18)
starts at 0:56


(retrieved )
starts at beginning

“You know how you make America great again? Tell @realDonaldTrump to go to hell.”
“Just when you think it can’t get worse: A leading American candidate for President praising Putin.”
“I suggest Mr. Trump visit the Ukraine and Syrian refugee camps to see if Putin is really respected and deserves praise.”
“I think Donald Trump is all-over-the-board crazy. I think you’re crazy if you think you’re going to deport American born citizen children of illegal immigrants. I think that’s just demagoguery.”
- Jan 19, 2016

The Hill, Jan 19, 2016
Graham: Trump 'all-over-the-board crazy'

(retrieved 10/2/18)
quote starts at beginning
“[Choosing between Trump or Ted Cruz] it’s like being shot or poisoned. What does it really matter?…
“[Trump on foreign policy] disturbs the heck out of me… It scares the hell out of me. Donald Trump, I think, is the most unprepared person I’ve ever met to be commander in chief
“In Donald Trump’s world, the illegal immigrants [are] gonna sell drugs to your kids and rape your wife. Foreigners are going to take your jobs. This is not exactly the America that I envisioned for the 21st century.”
- Jan 21, 2016

Politico, Jan 21, 2016
Graham: Choice between Trump, Cruz like 'being shot or poisoned'

(retrieved 10/2/18)
“Donald Trump is not a conservative Republican. He’s an opportunist. He’s not fit to be President of the United States.”
“He doesn’t have the temperament or judgment to control himself when he gets mad. This is kookland… He has disparaged woman. He has an 80% disapproval rating among Hispanics. At the end of the day he would be the most flawed nominee in the history of the Republican party…
“I’m not going to try to get into the mind of Donald Trump. Because I don’t think there is a lot of space there. I think he’s a kook. I think he is crazy. I think he’s unfit for office.

And I’m a Republican and he is not. He not a conservative Republican he is an opportunist. He could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and 25-to-30 percent people would still follow him because he gives voice to their anger and their frustration. But he is not fit to be president of the United States. Anybody Republican who would accuses George W. Bush of lying to the American people about the Iraq War and he is responsible for 9/11 is not a Republican. They are an extremist. They are crazy

“He accused most illegal of being rapists and drug dealers. He plays into the idea that maybe Obama is a Muslim… We believe he’s unfit for office. He doesn’t have the temperament or judgement.”
- Feb 17, 2016

Fox News (via Breitbart), Feb 17, 2016
Graham: 70% Of People Will Not Vote for Donald Trump — ‘Completely Unelectable’

(retrieved 10/2/18)
quote starts at 0:17
“My party has gone batshit crazy… I don’t know how I can best describe Donald Trump, but I can say this, that I don’t think he understands what makes America great. And I know I’m supposed to be funny, but I’m not really happy about where the country is right now. I could make a million Donald Trump jokes, and I have. But our party and our country is going to have to up its game.”
- Feb 26, 2016

Talking Points Memo, Feb 26, 2016
WATCH: Lindsey Graham Roasts His ‘Batsh*t’ Republican Colleagues

(retrieved 10/2/18)
“@realDonaldTrump I never got past 2%. You aren’t prepared to be Commander in Chief of worlds finest fighting force”
“Winning to me is stopping him from getting the nomination. This is not about who we nominate anymore as Republicans as much as it’s who we are. This is a fight for the heart and soul of the Republican Party. What is conservatism? If it’s Donald Trump carrying the conservative banner, I think not only did we lose the election, but we’ll be unable in the future to grow the conservative cause…
“I think he would destroy a party that I care a lot about
“I think he’s run a campaign on xenophobia, race baiting, religious bigotry

“Donald Trump is not the first person in American political history or politics in general to prey on people’s fear. There’s a market out there for send them all back, stop the Chinese from taking our jobs, and don’t be Barack Obama. What he’s got going for him, he’s the anti-Obama in every way in the minds of these people…

“Here’s what I said after the Megyn Kelly episode. It’s better to risk losing without him than try to win with him. When he said most illegal immigrants are rapists and drug dealers, they’re not sending our best, he took our problems in 2012 with Hispanics and made them far worse by espousing forced deportation. Looking back, we should have basically kicked him out of the party, because that kind of rhetoric…

“The more you know about Donald Trump, the less likely you are to vote for him. The more you know about his business enterprises, the less successful he looks. The more you know about his political giving, the less Republican he looks. We should have done this months ago…

“And when he said, ‘Let’s ban all Muslims from coming into our country,’ that’s the one that got me. You know, why? Because if you want to win the war on radical — against radical Islam, you need people within the faith. Ninety-nine percent of them reject radical Islam. But what Donald Trump did is he took a whole group of people and put them in one category. The very people we need to partner with, he’s excluded from our country. So that shows me he doesn’t understand the war

“And the one that got me is the military guys, when he said he would order our soldiers to kill innocent children, civilian noncombatants…

“When you add it all up, you ask me what gets me going with Donald Trump? He doesn’t represent conservatism, doesn’t understand the war. He would be an unfit commander in chief, in my opinion, based on his temperament and his policy choices. And he would destroy the Republican Party’s ability to grow over time.
- March 7, 2016

CNN, March 7, 2016
Transcripts: The Situation Room - March 7, 2016

(retrieved 10/2/18)
“The bottom line is that I believe Donald Trump would be an absolute, utter disaster for the Republican Party, destroy conservatism as we know it. We’d get wiped out, and it would take generations to overcome a Trump candidacy…

“Economic populism, xenophobia, race-baiting, and religious bigotry are the stool that he has formed. That is his campaign. That is not conservatism…

“Here is why we’re losing the Hispanic vote. Nobody is going to listen to you about your economic plan or your ability to defend the nation if you’re going to deport their grandmother. I’m in the party of family values. And I like that. There are 11 million illegal immigrants; 60 percent have been here a decade. Many of them have American children, American citizen children and grandchildren. What do you think is going to happen to my Republican friends if our position is that we’re going to take the grandmother of an American citizen, member of the military who is illegal? How do we get that person to vote for us if we’re going to deport their grandmother, when all she’s done is violate the immigration laws? This is why we’re getting killed with Hispanics. And Mr. Trump has taken every problem we have had with Hispanics and poured gasoline on it

“I can understand being frustrated with illegal immigration. But you’re not going to fix it by having a position like Mr. Trump that has no chance of getting through the Senate

“We’re about to nominate the one person that not only would lose in 2016, but would destroy the party for decades to come. I would rather lose without Trump than try to win with him

“I think Mr. Trump destroys the party that I love… Mr. Trump is an interloper and what — a demagogue of the greatest proportion

“We can lose an election, but I don’t want us to lose our heart and soul. If we nominate Donald Trump, and he carries the banner of the Republican Party, given who he is and what he said about immigrants, about Muslims and young women, we will not just lose the election. We have lost the heart and soul of the conservative movement. That’s what is at stake

“How do you bring the broken and divided country together? Is Mr. Trump the answer to the problems in the Mideast? His foreign policy is gibberish. The Mideast is a mess. The Republican Party is at a tipping point here. We’re going down one of two roads, the Trump road, which is the destruction of conservatism.”
- March 20, 2016

CBS News, March 20, 2016
Face the Nation transcripts March 20, 2016: Kasich, Sanders, Graham

(retrieved 10/2/18)
“If Trump is the standard bearer, it’s not about 2016, it’s about losing the heart and soul of the conservative movement. I’m not going to stand behind a guy that gets David Duke’s support. What is it about Trump’s campaign that David Duke likes? I don’t think he is a reliable conservative Republican. So it’s no longer about winning the election for me, it’s trying to salvage a party that I love and conservatism as I know it.”
- March 24, 2016

Talking Points Memo, March 24, 2016
Winning The 2016 Election (VIDEO)

(retrieved 10/2/18)
“If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed…….and we will deserve it.”
“Any doubt left Trump is completely unhinged? His assertion Ted Cruz’s father was associated with Lee Harvey Oswald should remove ALL doubt.”
“I…cannot in good conscience support Donald Trump because I do not believe he is a reliable Republican conservative nor has he displayed the judgment and temperament to serve as Commander in Chief.”
- May 6, 2016

Talking Points Memo, May 6, 2016
Lindsey Graham Goes Full On #NeverTrump

(retrieved 10/2/18)
[I] do not believe… he displayed the judgment and temperament to serve as Commander in Chief.”
“I don’t think he has the temperament or judgment to be commander in chief. A lot of my colleagues will vote for him enthusiastically, some will hold their nose, I just can’t go there with Donald…

“Quite frankly, he lost me when he said my friend John McCain was a loser because he was captured as a POW. He lost me when he accused George W. Bush of lying to the American people about the Iraq War, and he thinks Putin’s a good guy, so, I just can’t go there

“I’ve just got a hard time supporting somebody who claims that Ted Cruz’s dad was associated with Lee Harvey Oswald and involved in the Kennedy assassination. I’ve got a hard time supporting somebody for president who spent thousands of dollars of their own money trying to find out if President Obama was born in Kenya versus Hawaii. I think that’s crazy. I’m just glad we’re having the convention in Cleveland, not Area 51. I think Donald Trump has gone to places where very few people have gone, and I’m not going with him

“I just believe his temperament and judgment is not sufficient to be commander in chief of the finest fighting force in the world. I think his foreign policy is gibberish

“I just really do not believe that Donald Trump has the temperament and judgment to be commander in chief…

“Eating a taco is probably not going to fix the problems that we have with Hispanics. I think embracing Donald Trump is embracing demographic death

“I just can’t go where Donald Trump takes the party and the country. I’m sorry I can’t.”
- May 6, 2016

“If you had told me in 2013 that by 2016 we’d be running on forced deportation and that Megyn Kelly was a bimbo. We got problems. I hope he adjusts…

“To the Hispanic community, I get it why you don’t like us. I mean, who’s going to vote for somebody that’s gonna deport their grandmother?… We’re in a ditch, and I don’t know if we’ll ever get out of the ditch.”
- May 10, 2016

“Last night, if you were looking for competency Donald Trump fell short.”
“I have never been comfortable with Donald Trump as our Republican nominee.”
“Name one sports team, university, publicly-held company, etc. that would accept a person like this as their standard bearer?”
“In the prez race, voting for Hillary Clinton was always a non-starter and I couldn’t go where Donald Trump wanted to take the USA & GOP.”
“I voted @Evan_McMullin for President.”
“I hope President-elect Trump won’t become the 3rd American president to misjudge Vladmir Putin.”

#LindseyGraham 5/6/16: "I just can’t go where Donald Trump takes the party and the country. I’m sorry I can’t." » #Graham 4/19/18: "I am all in. Keep it up, Donald." Click To Tweet


2017 - 2019

Lindsey Graham on Donald Trump Now
“How good was the meeting with @POTUS? I gave him my NEW cell phone number.”
“I am like the happiest dude in America right now. We have got a president and a national security team that I’ve been dreaming of for eight years… I am all in. Keep it up, Donald. I’m sure you’re watching.”
April 19, 2017 -

Fox News (via Politico), April 19, 2018
Lindsey Graham heaps praise on Trump: 'I am all in'

(retrieved 10/2/18)
“Really enjoyed a round of golf with President @realDonaldTrump today. President Trump shot a 73 in windy and wet conditions! How bad did he beat me? I did better in the presidential race than today on the golf course! Great fun. Great host.”
“[Trump is] growing into the job… [We are] two BS artists… [He’s] good for the Republican Party… Part of it’s just getting to know each other better. And need. I do better in South Carolina when I’m seen as helping him, ‘cause he’s popular

“One thing he likes, I think, about me, is I don’t quit… He saw in me a guy that had an idea that made sense and was willing to fight. So that’s created sort of a bond.”
Oct 23, 2017 -

Politico, Oct. 23, 2017
Once a ‘jackass’ and ‘idiot,’ Trump and Graham now pals

(retrieved 10/2/18)

“I’m going to try to stay in a position where I can have input to the president. I can help him where I can, and he will call me up and pick my brain. Now, if you’re a United States senator, that’s a good place to find yourself. He’s very popular in my state. When I help him, it helps me back home. And I think it probably helps him to be able to do business with an old rival who’s seen as a deal maker…

“[Trump has immigration overhaul] credibility no one else has

“He’s a lot of fun. He’s just like me. He’s just a B.S. artist on the golf course.”
Oct 26, 2017 -

New York Times, Oct. 26, 2017
As Other Republican Senators Bolt, Lindsey Graham Cozies Up to Trump

(retrieved 10/2/18)
“The one thing I like about President Trump, he understands that we’re in a religious war… Here’s what I like about President Trump: the gloves are off. [Trump] is right to make sure when somebody comes into the country from a place where radical Islam, and that’s the enemy, thrives, then we’re going to ask extra hard questions… [And Trump is] right to slow down who comes into this country.”
Oct 31, 2017 -

Fox News via The Atlantic, Nov 2, 2017
Lindsey Graham's 'Religious War'

(retrieved 10/2/18)
“What concerns me about the American press is this endless, endless attempt to label the guy some kind of kook not fit to be president.”
Nov 30, 2017 -

CNN (via Newsweek), Nov 30, 2017
Lindsey Graham Called Trump a 'Kook' Last Year but Slammed the Media for the Same Insult

(retrieved 10/2/18)
quote starts at beginning
“Trump International Golf Club is a spectacular golf course. Great day of fun playing with @POTUS @realDonaldTrump.”
“In my view, he is my president and he’s doing a good job on multiple frontsNo, I don’t think he’s a xenophobic, race-baiting, religious bigot — as president.”
Jan 8, 2018 -

ABC: The View (via Entertainment Weekly), 10/2/19
Sen. Lindsey Graham on The View: If Trump doesn't call himself a genius, no one will

(retrieved 10/2/18)
quote starts at beginning
“President @realDonaldTrump made a compelling case tonight that the tax cuts and his economic policies are working for America. Tonight, we a saw a tough and unapologetic Commander in Chief who supports our troops and is determined to win a war we can’t afford to lose. We also saw the end of criminalizing the war by the President adopting Law of War policies to fight a vicious enemy. We saw a president who was willing to more than meet the Democrats in the middle when it comes to fixing a broken immigration system. President Trump clearly relishes being the Law and Order president and a strong Commander in Chief. Just what America needs! It was a strong speech emphasizing America is open for business and going on the offense when it comes to crime and terrorism. I’m very pleased President Trump is empowering our military and putting our enemies on notice.”
“As to the 2020 presidential race, I believe President @realDonaldTrump will run for reelection and I intend to support him.”
“Happy Birthday, Mr. President! You’re keeping your promise to make America safer and more prosperous. And unfortunately for me, you’re doing all this without losing a step in your golf game!”
“I trust the president. I like the president. I trust him in terms of trying to do things that are big and matter. Here’s what I’ve got. I’ve got a relationship with the president at a time when I think he needs allies… If you don’t like me working with President Trump to make the world a better place, I don’t give a shit.”
June 15, 2018 -

CNN interview

Politico, June 15, 2018
Sen. Lindsey Graham doesn't give a 'sh--' if you don't like him working with Trump

(retrieved 10/2/18)
quote starts at beginning
“Totally agree with President Trump’s observation about Russia not being long-term pro-Republican or pro-Trump. Putin is pro-Chaos and is an Equal Opportunity Disruptor of the American electoral system. Let’s act together, let’s act now.”
“He’s not, in my view, a racist by any stretch of the imagination. I have never heard him make a single racist statement. Not even close. It is how you react to him. It is not the color of your skin, it is not the content of your character. It is what you say about him.”
Aug 11, 2018 -
“Every president deserves an attorney general they have confidence in. I believe every president has a right to their cabinet, these are not lifetime appointments. You serve at the pleasure of the president.”
Aug 2018 -
“President @realDonaldTrumps fate will be determined by the results he achieves for the American people, not by a book about the process. By any reasonable measure we have one of the strongest economies in modern history, President Trump has rebuilt a broken military, and we are pushing back hard against America’s enemies.”
“It is increasingly clear it was the Obama Administration who politicized the DOJ/FBI, not the Trump Administration.”
“Great job tonight by President @realDonaldTrump in Las Vegas laying out how strong America has become economically and how much safer we are with a strong military.”
“Thank you President @realDonaldTrump for the good judgment in selecting Judge Kavanaugh and the toughness and determination to stick by his side and see it through to Victory!”
“Being in his orbit, I think, has been good for me and good for him… I like being relevant… I enjoy his company. I’ve spent more time talking to him than any president — all of them combined.”
Nov 2, 2018 -
“When you make a promise to the American people, you should keep it. The one thing I like about President Trump ― he’s trying his best to keep his promise. He promised to build a wall, and he’s going to fight hard to keep that promise. After the caravan, if you don’t see the need for more border security, you’re blind… I’m glad he picked this fight.”
Dec 21, 2018 -
“Good decision by President @realDonaldTrump to address the nation about the crisis at our southern border. Great opportunity to explain to the American people why we need more border security funding. The current situation at the border is indeed a national security crisis.”
“This [speech on building the wall] is the most presidential I have seen President Trump. It was compelling and everything he said was true… It is a crisis.”
Jan 8, 2019 -

Fox News (via Talking Points Memo), Jan 9, 2019
Graham Lauds Trump Speech: ‘The Most Presidential I’ve Seen’ Him

(retrieved 1/11/19)
quote starts at beginning
“[I’m trying] to be relevant… I’ve got an opportunity up here working with the president to get some really good outcomes for the country… If you don’t want to get re-elected, you’re in the wrong business

“I have never been called this much by a president in my life. It’s weird, and it’s flattering, and it creates some opportunity. It also creates some pressure… I personally like him. We play golf. He’s very nice to me

“Here’s what I worry about. That we’re going to get it wrong in Syria and Afghanistan. I worry more about the policy stuff. And I have more influence than I’ve ever had

“I went from, ‘O.K., he’s president’ to ‘How can I get to be in his orbit?’, to ‘How can I have a say in what’s going to happen today, tomorrow and next week?.’… I’m getting into the smaller orbit now

“The point with Trump is, he’s in on the joke… If you could go to dinner with us [shaking his head]… Do I trust him? I trust the president to want to be successful… At the intersection of all this theater is that he wants to be a successful president, and I want him to be successful under terms that I think are good for the country.”
Feb 2019 -

New York Times, Feb 25, 2019
How Lindsey Graham Went From Trump Skeptic to Trump Sidekick

(retrieved 2/25/19)

Lindsey Graham 5/3/16: "If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed…and we will deserve it." » Graham 6/15/18: "If you don’t like me working with President Trump…I don’t give a shit." Click To Tweet