Lindsey Graham can be heard praising Joe Biden in newly surfaced audio as police worked to clear the Capitol during the January 6 riot.
The Republican senator speculated that the attack would unite Americans.
‘We will actually come out of this thing stronger. Moments like this reset,’ a somber Graham said from a secure location, according to audio obtained by reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns and aired on CNN.
‘It’ll take a while. People will calm down. People will [say] “I don’t want to be associated with that.” This is a group within a group. What this does, it’ll be a rallying effect for a while, where the country says, “We’re better than this.”‘
Graham, 66, goes on to praise Biden. ‘He’ll be maybe the best person to have, right? I mean, how mad can you get at Joe Biden?’
The lawmaker from South Carolina gave an impassioned speech on the floor when Congress resumed moments later, telling his colleagues to ‘count me out’ of Trump world.
Since then however, he’s returned to praising Trump for what he did during his administration and has even been spotted golfing with the ex-president at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
The newly released audio is discussed in an upcoming book by Martin and Burns, who write for the New York Times.
Speaking on Anderson Cooper’s show Tuesday night, Martin dove into Graham’s state of mind as the senator considered what had just happened.
‘You can almost hear his voice, Senator Graham, trying to play out what the impact of this attack, which as we talked was still ongoing as we spoke that afternoon on the 6th,’ he said.
Martin said the conversation took place from a secure room in the Capitol.
‘The Capitol police were still trying to clear the Capitol in those moments, Graham is thinking ahead, he is thinking about the political impact on his party and the impact on the country,’ he added.
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