Trump goes on the attack against Lindsey Graham after Republican senator openly criticised abortion stance

Former president tells South Carolina senator to ‘get on with helping Republicans to WIN ELECTIONS, rather than making it impossible for them to do so’

Gustaf Kilander,Eric Garcia,Katie Hawkinson
Tuesday 09 April 2024 15:00 BST
Related video: Biden mocks Trump by staring at solar eclipse with safety glasses on

Donald Trump has gone on the attack against Lindsey Graham after the Republican senator openly criticised the former president’s abortion stance.

Mr Trump’s fury comes after Mr Graham, who has represented South Carolina in the US Senate since 2003, told The Independent that he didn’t agree with Mr Trump on leaving abortion policy to the states, even as most Republican Senators said they backed the former president’s position.

“I believe that the American people, when you ask them about abortion early on, fairly pro-choice,” Mr Graham told The Independent. “The more the child develops, the more understanding that the child is an individual.”

Mr Trump criticised both Mr Graham and Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the anti-abortion Susan B Anthony List, on Truth Social.

“Senator Lindsey Graham and Marjorie Dannenfelser should study the 10th Amendment and States’ Rights,” he said. “When they do, they should proudly get on with helping Republicans to WIN ELECTIONS, rather than making it impossible for them to do so!”

But Mr Graham, who serves as the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, disputed Mr Trump’s saying that the Dobbs decision said there was no federal role.

“There are three laws on the books at the federal level,” he told The Independent. “So the idea that Dobbs prevents the federal government from acting I think is an error.”

In a video shared on Truth Social, Mr Trump refused to support a national abortion ban.

Mr Trump claimed on Monday that the Democrats were “reeling” from his previous statement and that “they have no response” other than to say that the former president is “only kidding” and would change his stance.

“I guess this means that we will win the Election because they are so bad on every Issue, this is the only issue they are focused on!” he wrote.

“I blame myself for Lindsey Graham because the only reason he won in the Great State of South Carolina is because I Endorsed him!” he added in a separate post.

In a lengthy screed on Monday afternoon, Mr Trump said: “Senator Lindsey Graham is doing a great disservice to the Republican Party, and to our Country. At first he wanted no Abortions under any circumstances, then he was up to 6 weeks, where you’re allowed Abortion, now he’s up to 15 weeks, where you’re allowed Abortion, but what he doesn’t understand, or perhaps he does, is the Radical Left Democrats, who are destroying our Country, will never approve anything that he or the Republicans want.”

“They love this Issue, and they want to keep it going for as long as Republicans will allow them to do so,” he added. “Terminating Roe v Wade was, according to all Legal Scholars, a Great Event, but sometimes with Great Events come difficulties. Many Good Republicans lost Elections because of this Issue, and people like Lindsey Graham, that are unrelenting, are handing Democrats their dream of the House, Senate, and perhaps even the Presidency.”

The former president went on to say that he hoped that most Republicans running would have the sense to require exceptions for rape, incest, and when there’s a risk to the life of the mother.

Doing so would take the issue of abortion “largely out of play,” he argued.

“When the Supreme Court had the courage to do the right thing LEGALLY, and terminate Roe v Wade, all of those people, including Lindsey Graham and Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B Anthony that were ‘hardliners’, one day after the Victory, were gone and of absolutely no help, as the Democrats staged rallies and won Elections they should never have won,” Mr Trump said.

“Lindsey, Marjorie, and others fought for years, unsuccessfully, until I came along and got the job done,” he added. “Then they were gone, never to be heard from again, until now. We cannot let our Country suffer any further damage by losing Elections on an issue that should always have been decided by the States, and now will be!”

The former president also noted that sending abortion policy back to the states was the policy of the Republicans and “conservatives for over 50 years, due to States’ Rights and 10th Amendment, and only happened because of the Justices I proudly Nominated and got Confirmed”.

Mr Trump argued on Monday that taking down Roe v Wade had always been about bringing the issue back to the states and never about imposing a federal ban.

“After we won, Marjorie Dannenfelser of SBA, and Lindsey Graham, started saying, ‘No, let’s go back to the Federal Government with 0 weeks,’ and when they got nowhere, they upped it to 6 week, and more recently they upped it to 15 weeks, and were obviously willing to take the number UPWARD, UPWARD, UPWARD because they were getting nowhere with the Democrats, and they never will, because the Democrats would never give up on this Issue no matter how many weeks the Republicans went,” he wrote.

Mr Trump made clear that he doesn’t want abortion to be a campaign issue, writing that “Republicans are now free to run for Office based on the Horrible Border, Inflation, Bad Economy, and the Death & Destruction of our Country!”

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