- Senator Lindsey Graham reportedly told Donald Trump that he wasted his presidency after his loss in 2020.
- The GOP senator believed Trump was essential to Republicans’ efforts to regain control and wanted him to focus on the future.
- An upcoming book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa details the conversation and the final days of Trump’s presidency.
As the Republican Party fought for control after former President Donald Trump was defeated in the 2020 election, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, whom Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell dubbed the “Trump Whisperer.” , believed the party needed Trump and his dedicated base to regain political power, according to an excerpt from an upcoming book by reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa which was obtained by CNN.
But Trump’s longtime ally is said to have struck a nerve with the injured president after delivering a harsh truth.
“You screwed up your presidency,” Graham told Trump on a phone call, according to Woodward and Costa.
Trump responded to the dissent by abruptly hanging up the phone, CNN reported, citing the book.
According to media coverage of the book’s premiere, the two spoke to each other again the next day and Graham told Trump he wasn’t blaming him for hanging up. But the South Carolina Republican urged the then president to focus on the future, not the past, to maximize the GOP’s chances of reclaiming power.
During the follow-up conversation, Trump reportedly feared he would “lose my base” if he changed his behavior. Graham responded by telling Trump to look to 2024, saying it could be the “biggest comeback in American history,” according to CNN.
Woodward and Costa, who are both reporters for The Washington Post, described Graham as “an addiction counselor struggling to keep his patient from having one more drink,” according to CNN.
Graham previously told the president “we can’t do this without you, Mr. President,” during a gold round in May, the outlet reported.
“I think it’s redeemable,” Graham said of Trump, according to Woodward and Costa. “I think he has magic and I think he has darkness.”
The preview of the Republican Party’s post-election infighting is just one of the many juicy details has promised to be disclosed in Woodward and Costa’s “Peril,” which focuses on the final weeks of Trump’s presidency and is expected to be published next week.