Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), on Friday, Feb. 12, said he’s planning to meet with former President Trump in the coming weeks to discuss the future of the Republican Party.
According to Politico, Graham and the former president will discuss strategy for winning the House and the Senate majority in next year’s midterms.
“I’m going to try and convince him that we can’t get there without you, but you can’t keep the Trump movement going without the GOP united,” Graham said.
“If we come back in 2022, then it’s an affirmation of your policies. But if we lose again in 2022, the narrative is going to continue that not only you lost the White House, but the Republican Party is in a bad spot,” he added.
On Wednesday, Graham told reporters that he spoke with Trump about the likely outcome of the Senate impeachment trial and said the former president would be acquitted even though Trump’s attorney received criticism among Republicans for their opening arguments.
“I think his team will do better, can do better,” Graham told reporters. “I reinforced to the president. The case is over. It’s just a matter of getting the final verdict now.”
Six Republican senators joined the Democrats in a vote to determine if it was constitutional to try a president who had already left office. Forty-four Republican senators, including GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), voted against holding the trial.
Graham noted that not all Republicans who voted to hold the trial would vote to convict the former president.
“I think the vote for not guilty will probably grow beyond 44,” Graham said. “I respect Bill. He’s a really good senator. He’s done a great job up here,” he added about Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who joined Democrats in voting to hold the trial.
“People are emotional about President Trump,” Graham noted. “I’m sure Bill will be fine. He will vote his conscience at the end of the day. Let’s just see how he votes when it’s all said and done.”
Trump’s second impeachment trial is poised to conclude Saturday following his defense team’s presentation to highlight the hypocrisy in the case against him.
Graham’s remarks about the meeting with Trump came as a group of former Republican officials is reportedly considering a new center-right political party to counter Trump’s influence.
According to Reuters, more than 120 Republicans, including former elected officials, former Trump administrators, and former presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush—met virtually on Feb. 5 to discuss forming a third party or a new center-right faction.
“Trump’s got to work with everybody,” Graham said. “You got to put your best team on the field. If it’s about revenge and going after people you don’t like; we’re going to have a problem. If this is about putting your best team on the field, we’ve got a decent chance at coming back.”