Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told Donald Trump this summer that he ‘f***ed your presidency up’ with the false claims he lost the election due to mass voter fraud, a new book claims.
Trump, in response, hung up on Graham, his on-again, off-again ally on Capitol Hill.
In January, Trump’s last White House chief of staff Mark Meadows tried to convince Graham and fellow conservative Senator Mike Lee that Trump really won the election.
Graham demanded more details and hard evidence if the White House wanted him and Lee to launch a Senate investigation of the election, according to Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s new book Peril, out September 21.
Graham and Lee both got briefings on the claims being made by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, but Graham slammed the claims, saying they were suitable for ‘third grade,’ according to excerpts of the book published by The Washington Post.
Both senators ultimately voted to certify the election results. Graham denounced Trump on the Senate floor in the wake of the January 6th insurrection, which attempted to stop the certification.
‘Trump and I, we’ve had a hell of a journey. I hate it to end this way. Oh my God, I hate it. From my point of view he’s been been a consequential president. But today, first thing you’ll see. All I can say, is count me out, enough is enough,” Graham at the time.
Lindsey Graham told Donald Trump this summer that he ‘f***ed your presidency up’ with the false claims he lost the election due to mass voter fraud
Trump and Graham have had an on and off relationship – above they golf together this summer at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida
But the two men have mended fences since then with Graham joining Trump at his West Palm Beach golf course this summer for a game.
Although the revelation that Graham told Trump he ‘f***ed’ up his presidency with his false claims he won the election shows they did not have a smooth path to reconciliation.
Woodward and Costa’s highly anticipated book focuses on Trump’s final days in the White House as he struggled to hold onto power.
Trump even urged Vice President Mike Pence to ‘listen’ to a conservative lawyer who drew up a 6-point for Pence to overturn the election results.
‘Peril,’ by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa will be released by Simon & Schuster on September 21
Trump made the pitch to Pence in a January 4th Oval Office meeting that included the lawyer, James Eastman, who was then the dean of the Chapman University Law School, and was among a group of figures pushing Trump’s electoral fraud claims up until his final days in office.
‘You really need to listen to John. He’s a respected constitutional scholar. Hear him out,’ Trump told Pence, according to Peril, by Woodward and journalist Robert Costa.
The authors write about a six-point memo that Eastman, who later spoke at the ‘Stop the Steal Rally’ near the White House Jan. 6th, drafted.
Pence was under heavy pressure from Trump to stop the certification of the election results, which he ultimately declined to do, pointing out he had no constitutional power as vice president to do such a thing.
Former Chapman University law professor John Eastman, next to U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, drafted a six-point memo spelling out his beliefs about how Vice President Mike Pence could refuse to accept votes from seven states where Trump allies were claiming fraud
The memo sketches out steps Eastman proposed Pence could take while presiding over counting the Electoral College votes from the states – a role that Pence himself and numerous constitutional scholars concluded was largely ceremonial.
The Eastman memo, published by CNN, carves out a pivotal role for Pence. When counting votes from states where Trump was claiming fraud, Pence would cite ‘ongoing disputes in the 7 States’ to claim that there are in fact ‘no electors that can be deemed validly appointed in those States.’
Doing so would put Trump ahead, by 232 to 222 electoral votes. ‘Pence then gavels President Trump as re-elected,’ Eastman rights.
In fact Biden amassed 306 electoral votes, according to the results certified by states.
‘You really need to listen to John,’ Woodward’s book quotes former President Donald Trump as telling Vice President Mike Pence
The move would provoke ‘howls’ from Democrats, Eastman predicted.
‘So Pence says fine’ and sends the matter to the House, where under the 12th Amendment each state delegation would get a single vote in deciding a disputed election.
‘Republicans currently control 26 of the state delegations, the bare majority needed to win that vote. President Trump is re-elected there as well,’ Eastman writes.
‘The fact is that the Constitution assigns this power to the Vice President as the ultimate arbiter. We should take all of our actions with that in mind,’ according to Eastman’s interpretation.
Eastman’s memo urges Pence to cite ‘ongoing disputes in the 7 States’ and refuse to accept their electors
Eastman said Pence should act ‘without asking for permission’ from Congress or the Supreme Court when refusing to accept votes certified by states
Eastman’s effort to pitch the memo to Lee, a Utah conservative Republican, were ineffective.
‘You might as well make your case to Queen Elizabeth II. Congress can’t do this. You’re wasting your time,’ Lee told him, according to the book.
The pitch came despite no state sending an alternate set of electors for Congress to consider, something that has happened in historical instances.
‘Lee’s head was spinning,’ according to Woodward and Costa. ‘No such procedure existed in the Constitution, any law or past practice. Eastman had apparently drawn it out of thin air.’
Lee himself voted to certify votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania where Trump and his allies were claiming fraud. ‘Our job is a very simple one. Our job is to convene to open the ballots and to count them. That’s it,’ he said on the Senate floor.
Eastman retired from his law position a week after the Capitol riot.
Pence refused the course of action Trump urged him to consider, and Trump tweeted angrily at him on Jan. 6th.
‘Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!’ Trump wrote.