After Graham Balks at Pardons for Rioters, a Trump Slam

'He's a RINO,' former president tells Newsmax
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2022 11:50 AM CST
After Graham Balks at Pardons for Rioters, a Trump Slam
Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, seated in front of a picture from a violent protest in Portland, Oregon last year, questions witnesses during a committee hearing to examine the domestic terrorism threat one year after January 6, on Capitol Hill, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Donald Trump has added another Republican to his list of supposed RINOs: his ally Lindsey Graham. The former president lobbed the insult—that's "Republican in name only"—at the Republican senator from South Carolina on Tuesday after Graham refused to back the idea of presidential pardons for those who participated in the Capitol insurrection, per Politico. Trump put forth the idea at a rally in Texas on Saturday, saying more than 700 people charged in the riot are being treated "so unfairly." Graham said the idea was "inappropriate" during a Sunday appearance on CBS' Face the Nation.

Those who stormed the Capitol should "go to jail and get the book thrown at them, because they deserve it," Graham said, per the Washington Post. "I don't want to reinforce that defiling the Capitol was OK," he added. "I don't want to do anything that would make this more likely in the future." Trump responded Tuesday in a Newsmax interview. "Lindsey Graham's wrong. I mean Lindsey's a nice guy, but he's a RINO," Trump said. He "doesn't know what the hell he's talking about if he says that." Trump went on to defend those charged in the case, saying they face punishments "like 20 times out of proportion." "Many of these people are not guilty," he said. "In many cases, they're patriots."

Graham responded to that interview Wednesday, saying "those who actively engage in violence for whatever political cause must be held accountable and not be forgiven," reports the Hill. Like Graham, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has resisted the idea of presidential pardons for Capitol rioters. "I would not be in favor of shortening any of the sentences for any of the people who pleaded guilty to crimes," the Republican from Kentucky told reporters on Tuesday, per the Post. (More Donald Trump stories.)

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