Graham: McConnell Must Have ‘Working Relationship’ with Trump to Remain Party Leader

Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) talks about the cost of the Build Back Better package at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., December 16, 2021. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham urged Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to rekindle a “working relationship” with former president Donald Trump after the pair fell out over Trump’s conduct in the wake of his defeat in the 2020 election.

Graham suggested that collaboration with Trump will be a prerequisite for the GOP in the future, and that McConnell will cease to be a viable candidate or party leader if he refuses to engage with Trump. The senator hinted that support for McConnell’s ouster could be growing among certain wings of the party.

“If you want to be a Republican leader in the House or the Senate, you have to have a working relationship with Donald Trump,” Graham told Sean Hannity during an appearance on Fox News. “I like Senator McConnell…but here’s the question: Can Senator McConnell effectively work with the leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump? I’m not going to vote for anybody that can’t…because if you don’t do that you will fail.”

Since January 6, 2021, Trump

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