Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham appeared on “Fox and Friends” on Monday, July 15, and defended President Donald Trump’s weekend tweets, after the president was accused of making racist comments.

Graham was strong in his criticism of the group known in Congress as “the squad.” “They’re socialists. They’re anti-Semitic,” We all know that [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] and this crowd are a bunch of communists, they hate Israel, they hate our own country, they’re calling the guards along our border—the Border Patrol agents—concentration camp guards,” said Graham, on the president’s favorite show. “They accuse people who support Israel as doing it for the Benjamins, they are anti-Semitic, they are anti-America.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), during a campaign event for Ohio Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine, Oct. 30, 2018, in downtown Cincinnati. (AP)

 

“They’re socialists. They’re anti-Semitic,” said Graham. “They stand for all the things that most Americans disagree with. Make them the face of the future of the Democratic Party. You will destroy the Democratic Party.”

During the past week, House Democratic leadership has been in open conflict with “the squad,” after Ocasio-Cortez accused  Speaker Nancy Pelosi of “singling out” colored women when she criticized “the squad” after their interview with Maureen Dowd from The New York Times.

On Sunday, Trump weighed in on the argument when he tweeted a suggestion that the four “‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen” “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it’s done.”

Twitter reaction was fierce, sparking plenty of comments, with hashtags #RacistInChief and #TrumpIsARacist the top two tweets a few hours later. While there was plenty of focus on calling the president out for being racist on the “go back” comment, there were many who made the point that Trump’s comments included an invitation to the same people to “come back and show us how it’s done,” indicating there was nothing racist in his remarks, otherwise why would he invite them back?

Sen. Lindsey Graham and President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt, John Locher)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and President Donald Trump. (Rainier Ehrhardt, John Locher/AP Photo)

“So sad to see the Democrats sticking up for people who speak so badly of our Country and who, in addition, hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion,” Trump tweeted. “Whenever confronted, they call their adversaries, including Nancy Pelosi, ‘RACIST.’ Their disgusting language and the many terrible things they say about the United States must not be allowed to go unchallenged. If the Democrat Party wants to continue to condone such disgraceful behavior, then we look even more forward to seeing you at the ballot box in 2020!”

Strong in his support of the president, Graham said on “Fox and Friends” last Friday, “Between what Trump has accomplished for this country and how crazy they’ve become, he’s gonna get re-elected.”

On Monday, the president drew applause when addressing a group of businesspeople, at the White House when he remarked, “If you’re not happy in the U.S. if you’re complaining all the time, very simply: You can leave.”