Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHouse to advance appropriations bills in June, July The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her The Memo: The GOP’s war is already over — Trump won MORE (R-S.C.) on Thursday said the Republican Party can’t “move forward” without former President TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE.
Graham made the remarks in an interview with Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityCaitlyn Jenner tells Hannity friends are fleeing California because of homeless people Caitlyn Jenner on Hannity touts Trump: ‘He was a disruptor’ The Memo: The GOP’s war is already over — Trump won MORE on Fox News. The comment comes as Republicans seek to remove their third-ranking House member, Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyMcConnell amid Trump criticism: ‘I’m looking forward, not backward’ Loyalty trumps policy in Stefanik’s rise, Cheney’s fall Cheney drama exposes GOP’s Trump rifts MORE (R-Wyo.), from her leadership post amid her continue criticisms of the former president.
“I would just say to my Republican colleagues, can we move forward without President Trump? The answer is no,” Graham said.
“I’ve always liked Liz Cheney, but she’s made a determination that the Republican Party can’t grow with President Trump. I’ve determined we can’t grow without him.”
Graham added that the GOP is making inroads with minorities due to Trump’s “economic populism” and “America First agenda.”
“If you don’t get that, you’re making the biggest mistake in the history of the Republican Party,” Graham said.
p class=”p1″>The comments come as the GOP grapples with Trump’s role in the party going forward.
Graham, a longtime ally of Trump, previously told “Axios on HBO” that Trump could either make the GOP “bigger” and “stronger” or that he could “destroy it.”
p class=”p1″>“He could make it bigger. He could make it stronger. He could make it more diverse,” Graham said at the time. “And he also could destroy it.”
Trump’s grip on the party is being demonstrated by House Republicans’ second attempt to remove Cheney from her leadership post, which seems more likely to succeed the second time around.
Cheney has come under fire from fellow Republicans in recent months for her criticisms of Trump, which included her vote to impeach him for inciting the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Her likely successor as chair of the Houser Republican Conference, Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikHillicon Valley: Broadband companies funded fake net neutrality comments, investigation finds | Twitter rolls out tip feature | Google to adopt ‘hybrid work week’ Loyalty trumps policy in Stefanik’s rise, Cheney’s fall Cheney drama exposes GOP’s Trump rifts MORE (R-N.Y.), is a staunch Trump supporter.
In an op-ed for The Washington Post on Wednesday, Cheney said the party should move way from “the Trump cult of personality.”