Lindsey Graham has been an obedient lap-dog to Donald Trump ever since he realized that the former reality television host was going to be the next POTUS. Before that, Graham was a staunch Trump critic, once calling him a “race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot.” The crazy about-face that Lindsey has pulled since Trump was elected is so far above Graham’s pay grade that people who have known Lindsey for a very long time have a hard time with his selling his soul to Trump.
And really, what good does it do? Does it get Graham respect from the president? No. Ass-kissing aside, Trump will toss anyone away who holds no benefit to him personally. Like his own son, who pulls desperate stunts on Twitter just on the off-chance that his father might actually start to love him.
It doesn’t work for Junior, and it won’t work for Graham.
Now, Trump has proven that he really couldn’t care less about Lindsey Graham or his work, especially when it interferes with a relationship that Trump has worked very hard to keep. His relationship with Vladimir Putin.
Graham first announced a bill to combat Russian aggression in 2018, and has brought it back to life again in 2019. Graham calls the law a “sanctions bill from hell,” which may be why Trump wants no part in it. After all, Trump only likes to target places like Canada and China with his massive tariffs.
According to Salon:
The Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2019 (DASKA) would impose sanctions on Russian oligarchs, banks and sovereign debt. The bill would also sanction Russian ship-building and energy industries. The legislation also requires the State Department and Intelligence Community to report to Congress whether Russia is meddling in U.S. elections every 90 days.
Though the bill has drawn bipartisan support, the Trump administration sent a 22-page letter to Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch, R-Idaho, saying that it “strongly opposes” the bill in its current form.
According to The Daily Beast:
The administration’s letter says it “strongly opposes” the bill unless it goes through a ton of changes. It argues the legislation is unnecessary and that it would harm America’s European allies–potentially fracturing transatlantic support for current U.S. sanctions on Russia. The bill “risks crippling the global energy, commodities, financial, and other markets,” the letter says, and would target “almost the entire range of foreign commercial activities with Russia.”
The Trump administration also argues that the bill would sanction Russian companies for starting their own new energy developments in Russia. And it argues the sanctions could target American banks operating in Russia and harm American asset managers.
Either way, you just know that Trump strong-arming Graham’s bill is seriously getting under Graham’s skin, but since he has already pledged his undying allegiance to the president, he’s really left with nowhere else to go. As Salon reports, “Trump’s opposition did not stop the Foreign Relations Committee from voting 17-5 to advance the bill to a full Senate vote, though Risch, along with Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., John Barrasso, R-Wy., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., all voted against it.”
Graham himself spoke out saying:
“This strong vote indicates an overwhelming desire by the Senate as a whole to push back against Russian interference in our election and Putin’s misadventures throughout the world. I am committed to working with my colleagues to improve this legislation, but it must be strong to be meaningful.”
Like a puppet on a string.
Putin himself has been a staunch critic of Trump’s impeachment by the House of Representatives, even lending a quote to the press:
“The Democratic Party, which lost the elections, is now trying to revise this history through the means that they have at their disposal — first by accusing Trump of collusion with Russia. But then it turned out there was no collusion. It could not form the basis for impeachment, and now there is this made-up pressure on Ukraine.”
“As far as I know the Republicans hold the majority so it’s unlikely they will want to remove the representative of their party for some made-up reasons.”