While the nation reeled from the sudden revelation that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had dropped his final report on the Justice Department, President Donald Trump partied at his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort with Lindsey Graham. The South Carolina Republican Senator gave the keynote speech Friday night at an annual fundraiser for the Palm Beach County Republican Party, packing his remarks with rhetoric like the outlandish suggestion that former Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy would be a good fit for the U.S. Supreme Court.
POLITICO shares that Trump was in the crowd for that talk, so you never know where the idea of putting Gowdy on the nation’s highest court might pop up again. He’s perhaps best known for his incessant pestering of Hillary Clinton over issues like her private email usage and her supposed culpability in the terrorist attack that rocked the U.S. Embassy in Libya in 2012.
Based on the testimony of people who were present, Graham’s commentary about Gowdy was a “joke” — but those assembled did reportedly take very kindly to the suggestion, applauding when he posed the rhetorical question of whether or not they’d like to see the recently retired Republican make the ascent.
He’s one of dozens of Republican Congressmen to have declined to seek re-election in the most recent midterm elections, having served as the chairman of the House Oversight Committee before his departure. In his time there after the Benghazi and Hillary email meltdowns, he made himself known for his refusal to go after the Trump administration for refusing to comply with information requests from his committee. Democrats wanted to subpoena the White House for the information they wanted — but at the time, they were in the minority, and the Gowdy-led majority declined.
In other words, few could hope he would be anywhere near an impartial judge.
That didn’t stop Graham though. During his Friday night remarks, he reportedly didn’t mention the Mueller investigation, but he did “joke” that there will be a Trump-branded hotel in Jerusalem within ten years while discussing the administration’s decision to move the United States Embassy in Israel there.
Normally, the event is open to the press — but this time around, for not immediately explicit reasons, it was not. Guests reportedly applauded when the local GOP Chairman Michael Barnett noted as much towards the beginning of the event.
Although Graham was apparently all smiles along with everybody else, he’s in recent days faced criticism for sticking by the president even while Trump relentlessly undercuts Graham’s late friend, the former Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.). He didn’t mention McCain during his remarks, instead sticking to noting that he and Trump “found a lot in common” after a “rocky” start to their relationship.
Apparently that’s all the GOP wants American politics to run on these days — the question of who likes who, like this is some kind of middle school face-off. Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders used the exact same language to explain that the president abruptly decided to withdraw recently announced sanctions targeting North Korea because he “likes” their dictatorial leader, Kim Jong Un.
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