Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump election claims loom over GOP on Jan. 6 anniversary Anti-Trump group targeting top Republicans on Jan. 6 anniversary Graham says he warned Trump of ‘peril’ with Jan. 6 press conference MORE (R-SC) blasted President BidenJoe BidenPelosi on eve of Jan. 6: Capitol rioters ‘lost’ bid to stop peaceful transfer of power MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell sues Jan. 6 panel over subpoena for phone records Overnight Defense & National Security — Nation marks 1 year since Capitol riot MORE for the tone of a speech he gave on Thursday marking the anniversary of the Capitol riot, calling it a “brazen” politicizing of the events a year ago.
Graham and other lawmakers were evacuated on Jan. 6, 2021, after a mob of supporters of former President TrumpDonald TrumpPelosi on eve of Jan. 6: Capitol rioters ‘lost’ bid to stop peaceful transfer of power MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell sues Jan. 6 panel over subpoena for phone records Bipartisan Senate group holds call on elections amid reform chatter MORE overwhelmed Capitol Police and entered the building, halting temporarily Congress’s certification of the Electoral College vote.
“What brazen politicization of January 6 by President Biden,” Graham said in a tweet sent during Biden’s speech. “I wonder if the Taliban who now rule Afghanistan with al-Qaeda elements present, contrary to President Biden’s beliefs, are allowing this speech to be carried?”
Graham was referring to the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, which Biden oversaw last year, an episode the president has been widely criticized by Republicans over.
Graham’s critics used his tweet to recall his condemnation of the violence carried out by Trump’s supporters as well as his attempts to distance himself from the former president’s repeated false claims of a “rigged” election in 2020.
“Trump and I, we had a hell of a journey,” Graham said on the Senate floor after the mob stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. “I hate it being this way. Oh my god I hate it … but today all I can say is count me out. Enough is enough. I tried to be helpful.”
In a statement issued separately on Thursday morning, Graham, who has since maintained a close personal relationship with Trump, said he “still cannot believe that a mob was able to take over the United States Capitol during such a pivotal moment.”
“Those who defiled the Capitol on January 6 are being prosecuted, as they should be,” Graham said. “I have consistently condemned the attack and have urged that those involved be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I hold the same views of those who attacked the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon and committed other acts of violence throughout our nation.”
Graham again attacked Biden and Vice President Harris in his remarks, accusing them of using the attack to achieve a political agenda.
“President Biden and Vice President Harris’s speeches today were an effort to resurrect a failed presidency more than marking the anniversary of a dark day in American history,” Graham said. “Their brazen attempts to use January 6 to support radical election reform and changing the rules of the Senate to accomplish this goal, will not succeed. The so-called voting rights acts they are pushing are a liberal Democrat federal takeover of our election systems which constitutionally reside with the states.”