South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham had some unsolicited advice for President Donald Trump on Monday night: Make sure your health care bill helps Americans, not just Republicans.
“To President Trump: Don’t take a bad deal,” Graham said on Fox News’ “O’Reilly Factor.”
“You’re a great negotiator. If you can find a better way using Republicans alone to replace Obamacare, do it. But if you can’t find a bill that you think helps America, not just the Republican Party, walk away, Mr. President. Let it collapse,” he said. “Then challenge the Democratic Party.”
Graham’s comments came hours after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the Republican plan put forward by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would cause 14 million people to lose their health care coverage within the first year.
“Look at the CBO as a sort of a blinking warning light,” Graham told “O’Reilly Factor” host Bill O’Reilly. “Obama ran through every stop sign, every warning light to get to where he wanted to go. All I’m asking is slow down; absorb this report.”
“Remember, we’re gonna own what we do here for the rest of our political lives,” said Graham, one of the most persistent critics Trump faces within his own party.
Graham also addressed Trump’s claims that former President Barack Obama’s administration had “wiretapped” Trump Tower during the 2016 election. Trump’s administration has provided no proof of such surveillance.
“If there is no warrant, then we’ll have solved this problem. There was no wiretapping,” Graham said.
But he suggested that the U.S. government during Obama’s tenure might have captured surveillance of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who served ever so briefly as Trump’s national security adviser before being ousted in connection with a Kremlin-influence controversy.
“Now if Flynn ran into the Russian ambassador, who was being followed because he’s a foreign agent, that’s different than having a FBI or FISA warrant on the Trump people,” Graham said.
“I don’t know if that happened. But we all need to know whether a warrant was issued against the Trump campaign, and I promise you we’re going to get to it. I don’t want to take a vacation in August unless we get this fixed.”