Lindsey Graham ‘takes credit’ for Trump cancelling January 6 anniversary speech

South Carolina senator says he advised former president to focus on election reform instead

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Wednesday 05 January 2022 14:26
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Related: White House says Biden will speak to ‘truth’ of Jan 6

South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham is taking credit for getting former president Donald Trump to cancel his scheduled press conference on the anniversary of the Capitol Hill insurrection.

The senator said that he was among several people, including Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who urged Mr Trump to cancel the event.

Mr Graham is a close aide of the former president. He told Axios that he “discussed the subject with Mr Trump over a weekend golf match in West Palm Beach”.

When Mr Trump brought up the subject, he told the former president “there could be peril in doing a news conference”, he said. “Best to focus on election reform instead,” the politician allegedly advised Mr Trump.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump cancelled his press conference to commemorate the 6 January Capitol riots, which he had planned to hold at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

At least five people died and 100 police officers sustained injuries in the deadliest attack by pro-Trump supporters on the Capitol building in history.

The Republican leader had announced in December that he planned to host the event to talk about how the “insurrection took place on November 3rd”.

“In light of the total bias and dishonesty of the January 6th Unselect Committee of Democrats, two failed Republicans, and the Fake News Media, I am canceling the January 6th Press Conference at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday,” Mr Trump said in a statement.

He then went on to accuse House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of slow walking the law enforcement response necessary to protect herself and fellow lawmakers. However, statements from both nonpartisan House security officials and Ms Pelosi’s office stated that the accusations were false.

Mr Trump said he will instead host an event in Arizona on 15 January. Due to a change of plans, his speech will not compete with a national address set to be delivered by president Joe Biden at the Capitol on Thursday.

Mr Biden is likely to warn about the continued dangers presented by Mr Trump’s falsehoods regarding voter fraud and America’s election systems.

The House select committee investigating the insurrection is gearing up for a year of public hearings and the release of several reports regarding the Capitol riot.

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