WASHINGTON — Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday said he has no interest in taking any kind of cabinet-level position in President Donald Trump's administration, despite spending increasing time working alongside his once rival.
“No,” Graham, Republican of South Carolina, flatly stated on Sunday’s “Meet The Press” when asked by Chuck Todd whether or not he would serve in Trump’s cabinet if asked.
Graham has been seen as increasingly cozy to Trump recently, which Trump remarked on this week when he said Graham “used to be a great enemy of mine but now he’s a great friend of mine.” Graham ran against Trump during the 2016 Republican presidential primaries.
“He’s the president of the United States,” Graham said of his new fondness for Trump. “He’s going to make a decision about immigration I’ve been working on for a decade. He’s president of the United States – going to make a decision about North Korea, which is one of the biggest threats to the world at large. He’s going to decide whether or not to stay in the Iranian agreement. I’ve enjoyed his company. He beat me like a dog. I’ve said everything I know to say about him – I’ve used every adjective on the planet. I lost. He won.”
"I don't think he's crazy," Graham continued. "I think he's had a very successful 2017. And I want to help him where I can. And we should all want him to be successful. He's got a lot on his plate."
The senator also claimed that Trump does now believe that Russians were behind the hacking of emails from the DNC and the Clinton campaign, despite questioning numerous times whether Russia played a role in the hacks in the past.
When the president refers to the Russia investigation as a “hoax,” Graham says Trump is talking about any allegations of collusion between the campaign and Russians during the 2016 election.
“Whether or not there is collusion, Bob Mueller will tell us,” Graham said, referring to the special counsel investigating the Trump campaign’s connections with Russians. “I’ve seen no evidence of collusion.”
While Graham acknowledged he has always said the president has a “blind spot” to Russia, things are changing “for the better,” pointing to the administration’s decision to approve the sale of lethal weapons to Ukraine.
"When it comes to Russia, I've said on your show a million times, he has an attitude toward [Russian President Vladimir] Putin that I think is counterproductive. The president does believe his intel agencies," Graham said. "He is firmly telling the world he didn't collude with the Russians. And we're not going to let him be the final authority on that. We're going to let Mr. Mueller tell us whether or not this campaign colluded with the Russians."