South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham talked with Fox News Radio's Guy Benson ahead of the first in the Nation Primary in New Hampshire. Senator Graham gave his take on Democratic Presidental Primary and touted President Trump's accomplishments.
Full Transcript: Guy Benson: A brand new hour on the Guy Benson Show on this Tuesday primary day in New Hampshire. Thank you for listening. I'm Guy Benson. We are live in New York today. Really appreciate you being here. Guy Benson's show Dot.com is the Web site. The podcast is free. Please subscribe. Joining me now for the first time on the program, we are very pleased to welcome U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator, great to have you.
Sen Graham: Hey, thanks a bunch. I've been looking forward to this. Thanks. A joining.
Guy Benson: Us, too. So let's start with New Hampshire. You have a lot of experience. There you were, of course, very dear friends with John McCain who had his big comeback. Victory in. Right. Launched him in 2008. Tell us what you're seeing, what you're hearing in New Hampshire as we start to grapple with what might happen later tonight.
Sen Graham: Well, something I've never seen before. I was at the rally last night with 11000 plus people who would run threw a wall for President Trump. John McCain became relevant in 2000 when he won the New Hampshire primary. He lost to Bush. But this put him on the map in 2008. It turned around his campaign 2016. Trump wins New Hampshire after losing Iowa and the rest is history with 11000 plus people there last night were beyond enthusiastic. They believe in this president. They believe in his agenda. And the reason we're up here today is just to remind people that more choices than radical socialism.
Guy Benson: Yeah. I mean, and there's a big choice to be had in November. We just had Governor Sununu on in the last hour. He predicted that Bernie Sanders will win tonight on the Democratic side. To your point about socialism, he also said he thinks New Hampshire needs to be at the very top of the list for the Trump campaign to try to flip from blue to red. It was a narrow victory for Hillary Clinton, a fraction of a point last time. Do you think President Trump might even be the favorite to swing New Hampshire back into the Republican column?
Sen Graham: Well, I think he's very competitive, is less than 3000 votes. So he ran a rhetoric in 2016, changing the system, taking it, turning it upside down. Now he's got a record. I think the rhetoric that the record is more impressive than the rhetoric. Unemployment here is below 3 percent. The state is doing very well economically. We're stronger than we've been militarily since Reagan. So I'm just telling people in New Hampshire, vote your pocketbook. If they do that, President Trump will win.
Guy Benson: Senator, we just saw this morning Joe Biden's campaign just pack up, shop and leave. They're not sticking around for tonight. I think they see some dark writing on the wall about how they're going to perform in New Hampshire this evening. And they went and decamped to your state, South Carolina. I wonder what you make, first of all, of that decision on Election Day to say peace out were gone. And secondly, in your home state of South Carolina, everyone has been saying over and over again, it's the firewall, it's the firewall for Joe Biden. He's got enough black support. That's where he's going to win. Do you think part of that firewall could start to melt away if he looks like he's really, really weak?
Sen Graham: I think he wins South Carolina. 70 percent of the vote will be African-Americans who still has a long relationship with South Carolina Democrats, who is very loyal to President Obama. Socialism will not sell. May of these follks so go to church socially and fiscally conservative. But they're but they're going to look for somebody that that is not a socialist. Bottom line is it's not a firewall. I think it's probably the height of this campaign. I like Joe Biden. He's a credibly decent guy. But the energy in the Democratic Party is not with vice. President Biden is with with Bernie Sanders. Bloomberg is probably going to fill Biden lane if he does collapse. And you're going to have a Bernie and Bloomberg contest. I think that the convention.
Guy Benson: Senator, you just mentioned your friendliness with Joe Biden. Call him a decent guy. You guys been friends for a while. Jill Biden, his wife, recently was on CNN, asked about the friendship and has asked specifically, are the Biden still friends with you? Here's her answer. And cut 30.
VIDEO CLIP: Lindsey Graham, the senator from South Carolina, who I think you count as a friend. We did. Yes, we did. Well, you know, Lindsey, I don't know what happened to Lindsey. And we used to be great friends and friends with John McCain. I mean, we traveled together with the Foreign Relations Committee. We've had dinner, you know. And now he's changed. Do you consider him a friend anymore? Well, it's hard when you don't know. Consider somebody a friend. And then they've said so many things, so many negative things. And that's been a little hurtful.
Guy Benson: You know, Senator, this is a tough business, right? You guys have been friendly for a long time. How does that make you feel, hearing that exchange about? That's a tough thing to listen to, regardless of where your politics are.
Sen Graham: Yeah. Like Jill Alon and Joe and Jill are just wonderful people and they've gone through a lot of tough times in life. But let me just remind everybody, in 2008, John McCain, my dear friend, ran against Obama and Biden. It was pretty tough. Yeah. And there's about a year or two they wouldn't even talk. And I'm glad they were able reconcile. I'm hopeful that that they'll understand that my affection and admiration hasn't changed. I'll defend Joe against accusations of racism that came along early in the campaign. But what I won't do is live in a country where you look at the Republican president, the Republican candidate. You take a wrecking ball to their family and you can't even ask a legitimate question. Joe Biden is a fine man. But when he was in charge of the Ukraine portfolio to deal with corruption in the Ukraine, he should have done something about Hunter Biden being on barista's board. He ignored that. It hurt our foreign policy. It hurt our efforts to reform the Ukraine. And that's fair game. And I'm not going to just we're not have a double standard where you just take a wrecking ball to Trump and give her body else a pass. That's not fair.
Guy Benson: On the Hunter Biden question. I've seen some conservatives started to say, okay, if Biden implodes this candidacy, is it sort of piling on to keep going after the Hunter Biden question in your oversight role? How do you how do you handle that issue?
Sen Graham: Well, I think what we want to know is fund the State Department did not react to the obvious conflict of interest. We're trying to create a system here. Right. I can assure you, if my vice President Pence's son was in this situation, there'd be a lot of coverage. Nobody be asking me about my relationship with the Pence's at the wanting to know what happened. So I think it's good to have oversight. I'm not vindictive here. I don't believe Joe Biden enriched himself at all. I believe he just ignored an obvious conflict of interest to our detriment. And that's fair game. I'm going to focus on the FISA Warnet application that led to four warrants being issued against Carter. Page one to find out how the system got so off the rails when it came to counter-intelligence investigation of the Trump campaign. I hope we'll look and see who the whistleblower is to see if they have any political bias.
Guy Benson: My next question was about that exact investigation. The FISA failures, we saw the grilling of the inspector general who did a pretty, I think, amazing job, just a damning report. And his testimony before your committee was actually even worse. I think for the other side, he just blew up even their defenses that they had mounted over the previous 24 hours. He shows up and just blow carpet bombs them with with all the truth that he failed.
Sen Graham: The first question I ask him. Do you believe it? Comey has indicated.
Guy Benson: He's like, nope. Yeah, no.
Sen Graham: Here's what we'll get here. So do Guy. We'll take his report. We'll make a deep dive in it. The goal is to put guardrails on the system to make sure that in the future, counterintelligence investigations being open against political campaigns, you have some checks and balances to make sure that, you know, if there's some sculptress information comes into the system is reported up, make sure this never, ever happens again as my job.Durum Is looking at criminality. If people break the law, I trust them to look thoroughly. And here's the problem. When Mueller came back with nothing, the Democrats couldn't accept nothing. And it led to this partisan impeachment. They impeach the president in 78 days based on suspending aid for a short period of time. That was eventually delivered ahead of schedule to leverage an investigation that never occurred. They've lost their mind. We're not going to do that on our side.
Guy Benson: I'm going to circle back to John Derman just a second. But since you brought up the impeachment, of course, the president acquitted on both counts pretty overwhelmingly, as expected last week. The two votes that surprised me in the U.S. Senate were Joe Manchin from West Virginia and Mitt Romney from Utah. And regardless of how people come down on this, what was your reaction and how are you thinking about some of the blowback against Senator Romney for being the one Republican who broke with the party on this one?
Sen Graham: I was really surprised because, you know, assuming that everything The New York Times reports about Bolton is true, it's not an impeachable offense. This is not the high crime, treason, bribery that the founders had in mind. It was literally Watergate. What are we talking about here? Suspending aid for a period of time to look at at the Bidens. And I think there's legitimate reasons to look. Using Rudy maybe was inappropriate, but nowhere near impeachable. So the bottom line is it was. Driven by partisan people, not outside investigators. It was done in 78 days. And I thought. Both Joe and Mitt would see this for the partisan revenge that it really was. What's happened here, guys? We've put the presidency at risk if this becomes an impeachable offense. I don't know if the president can never pick up the phone again.
Guy Benson: I was interested, Senator, in what Manchin said the day before, where he gave his speech, where he didn't announce what he was going to do, but gave a bunch of thoughts. He mentioned the idea of a censure. And I know that ship has sailed. This issue's basically over on that whole front in terms of repercussions. But because there were a lot of your colleagues on even the Republican side who said what the president did was improper, there was a problem here, but you shouldn't impeach him or remove him from office for it. If they had gone from the beginning rather than an impeachment push, which was, as you said, almost completely partisan. Might the censure discussion have been a little bit more bipartisan?
Sen Graham: Yeah, it could have been. You know, like. Remember the Clinton I know you're too young to remember that. But there was an effort by Dianne Feinstein and myself actually to censor the president. He wouldn't accept it. In this case, what Joe Biden did and Hunter Biden did in the Ukraine hurt our national security. Foreign policy efforts in the Ukraine is perfectly appropriate. You don't. You can't withstand scrutiny because you're running for president. It's a silly concept. The former vise president announces he's going to run for president. We can never ask any questions about what he did as vise president. It's just an absurd concept. So to me, impeachable offenses have to be something like Watergate. This was this puts the presidency at risk and they were hell bent on impeaching him from the day he got elected. Nadler audition to be committee chairman saying I can handle impeachment. Well, they did it 78 days. And here's what I would say to my colleagues who voted to convict President Trump. You have created. A real danger to the presidency itself. You basically legitimized impeaching the president in such a quick fashion that they could not allow be allowed to go to court, and when they insisted upon exercising executive privilege, that became obstruction of Congress. That's an incredibly dangerous concept.
Guy Benson: Senator, you invoked the name of John Durham in the context of the FISA issue and the origins of the Trump Russia investigation. Briefly, do you have any insight that you can share on the timeline of John Durham when we might actually get something from his report or indictments or what have you?
Sen Graham: No, and I really should't know. And he's going to do his job, I think, professionally as a reputation being thorough. But the one thing we've got to remember, a seven to nine year sentence for Roger Stone, I think would be really out of bounds given the fact this is a process crime. I'm not excusing the behavior. The bottom line here is you got General Flynn, who's gonna be sentence one day. I guess the underlying accusation failed to materialize. There was no collusion with the Russians. The bottom line is Durham will look at criminality. I will look at reforming the system. The Intel Committee should be looking at whether or not the whistle blower had a bias. And we should look at whether or not the State Department was negligent when it came to overseeing an obvious conflict of interest with Hunter Biden Joe Biden. But that's the way the system will work. And we'll see what happens between now and November. Here's what I do believe. None of this will matter when it comes time to vote that people are going to vote to reelect the president because he's been a very good president. All the things that matter to the people of this country, they're economic security and national security.
Guy Benson: And I would probably add judges with the chairman of the Judiciary Committee on the line, another confirmation today.
Sen Graham: I should have added that myself.
Guy Benson: More invocations of cloture. I mean, my goodness, it's it's like as soon as impeachment ended and the trial was over is back to Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and the judge machine. That's a huge one.
Sen Graham: Almost 200 will be coming. We got two great Supreme Court judges, justices, if we get four more years of this and four more years of entrepreneurial tax policy, entrepreneurial approach to government regulation, four more years of modernizing the military for four years, keeping the terrorists at bay, four more years of appointing judges. President Trump has united the party very much like Reagan did. And as our party becomes more united, the Democratic Party is becoming more divided and the president is in a good spot to get reelected. Can't take anything for granted. But I just don't see how they deal with the Bernie and Bloomberg dynamic. I think it's going to blow up the Democratic Party as we know it.
Guy Benson: Well, we will see what happens tonight in New Hampshire and then soon enough down in your state of South Carolina. Indeed. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican South Carolina, chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the upper chamber. Senator, thank you very much.
Sen Graham: Thanks, guy.
Guy Benson: We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.