(Headline USA) Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said this week that, if Republicans take back the Senate in 2022, he will not vote for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to be the chamber’s majority leader unless McConnell restores a “working relationship” with former President Donald Trump.
“If you want to be a Republican leader in the House or the Senate, you have to have a working relationship with President Donald Trump,” Graham told Fox News on Wednesday.
“He’s the most consequential Republican since Ronald Reagan,” Graham continued. “It’s his nomination if he wants it. And I think he’ll get reelected in 2024.”
Graham pointed out that McConnell and Trump worked well together in the past on a number of issues, specifically on the confirmations of hundreds of conservative judges and three Supreme Court justices.
“But here’s the question: Can Senator McConnell effectively work with the leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump?” Graham asked.
Whoever leads the Senate must be able to work hand-in-hand with Trump to “come up with an America First agenda” and “show the difference between us and liberal Democrats,” Graham added.
“And I’m not going to vote for anybody for leader of the Senate as a Republican unless they can prove to me that they can advocate an American First agenda and have a working relationship with President Trump,” he added. “Because if you can’t do that, you will fail.”
Trump and McConnell fell out after the Jan. 6 Capitol uprising, when McConnell slammed Trump for “inciting” the revolt.
However, tensions had been brewing much earlier, and Trump had openly criticized McConnell for congratulating Democrat Joe Biden on his victory following the Electoral College’s vote to install him as the next president.
Trump has not formally announced his plan to run in the 2024 presidential election, but he has continued to hint at another run. He said last year that if he does run, he won’t launch his campaign until after the 2022 midterm elections.