“I tell [Trump] every day that he wants to listen that I think the main reason he probably lost in Arizona is beatin’ on the dead guy called John McCain,” Graham told Axios.
Trump’s campaign maintains that he lost Arizona because of widespread voter fraud and manipulation in the state.
Arizona state Republicans have tried to conduct an internal investigation to determine whether voter fraud did sway the results of the election, but at least one major county has refused to cooperate.
Maricopa County, one of the largest counties in the state, has refused to hand over ballots, voting machines, and other relevant materials to the Arizona state Senate after Republicans subpoenaed the county as part of a county-wide audit.
However, a judge ruled late last month that Maricopa County must turn over everything, declaring the state Senate’s subpoena “legal and enforceable.”
Graham did not mention any of this, but continued to fault Trump for the election loss. He claimed Trump has a “dark side” that hurt him.
“What I’m trying to do is just harness the magic,” Graham said, saying there’s a reason both of Trump’s presidential campaigns were more successful than McCain’s or Sen. Mitt Romney’s, R-Utah.
Trump can either make the Republican Party better or he can “destroy” it, Graham said.
“I want us to continue the policies that I think will make America strong,” he explained. “I believe the best way for the Republican Party to do that is with Trump, not without Trump.”
“He could make the Republican Party something that nobody else I know can make it,” Graham added. “He can make it bigger. He can make it stronger. He can make it more diverse. And he also could destroy it.”