Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned at a political gathering in his home state Monday that there “could be a war within the Republican Party” over President Donald Trump’s border wall.
But he also threatened those who turn their backs on the president.
His “war” remarks to reporters at the First Monday GOP club in Greenville apparently referred to the possible reaction if Trump declares a national emergency to get his wall built.
“It seems to me that [Trump] is going to have to go it alone,” conceded Graham, who said he’s “isn’t very optimistic” legislators will work out a funding deal.
Graham said later to the audience that he would “stand with” Trump if he declares a national emergency — and he called on all Republicans to do so as well.
“To every Republican: If you don’t stand behind this president, we’re not going to stand behind you when it comes to the wall,” Graham said. “This is the defining moment of his presidency. It’s not just about a wall. It’s about him being treated differently than every other president.”
It’s not just about a wall. It’s about him being treated differently than every other president.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
The current temporary funding package to keep the government operating expires Feb. 15.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is reportedly also concerned about dissension in GOP ranks. He privately warned Trump on Friday that declaring an emergency could trigger a GOP revolt and a congressional resolution against the declaration, The Washington Post reported.
Some Republicans are already breaking ranks. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said that an emergency declaration was a “terrible idea” and that he would oppose it.
Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said last month that to “give the president authority” to decide on the wall “all by himself would … stretch constitutional boundaries.”