There is no way the Republican Party can win without Trump, says Sen. Lindsey Graham

There is no way the Republican Party can win without Trump, says Sen. Lindsey Graham
President Donald Trump speaks to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) during an event about judicial confirmations in the East Room of the White House on November 6, 2019 in Washington, DC.Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham says the GOP has no political future without Donald Trump.
  • He told the Washington Post that there is "no construct" where the party can be successful without Trump.
  • A battle is being fought in the GOP between Trump loyalists and those who want to reject him.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said that the Republican Party cannot be successful without the backing of former President Donald Trump and his supporters.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Graham addressed the war being fought in the GOP between those believe the party needs to purge itself of Trump's influence, and those who've remained loyal to the former president despite his bid to subvert the result of last year's election and cling onto power.

A campaign is gathering momentum to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from her role in the party leadership over her opposition to Trump as loyalists to the former president seek to consolidate their control over the party. According to reports Cheney will likely be replaced by Rep. Elise Stefanik, who has defended Trump's "Big Lie" that the election was stolen from him.

"She just believes he's disqualified himself by his conduct, more than it's any kind of political analysis," said Graham of Cheney's views on the former president. "If you look at a political analysis, there's no way this party is going to stay together without President Trump and his supporters. There is no construct where the party can be successful without him."

His comments to the Post echoed those he made in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity last week.


"I've always liked Liz Cheney, but she's made a determination that the Republican Party can't grow with President Trump. I've determined we can't grow without him," Graham told Hannity.

Graham was a critic of Trump during his outsider bid for the presidency in 2016, but later became one of the president's closest allies in Congress.

After the Capitol riot, Graham said on the Senate floor that Biden was the legitimate winner of last year's election and criticized Trump's bid to overturn his victory.

"Trump and I, we've had a hell of a journey," Graham said. "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."

However with Trump retaining the loyalty of many GOP grassroots supporters, he has shifted his stance to suggest that the party has no political future if it doesn't embrace the legacy of the former president.