Kinzinger resurfaces Graham Tweet warning GOP ‘will be destroyed’ by Trump

Representative Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, resurfaced on Saturday a tweet from Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina who has generally been seen as an ally of former President Donald Trump, issuing a dire warning about the then-GOP presidential candidate.

Graham was considered a key Trump supporter during his tenure in the White House. However, the former president recently described the GOP senator as a “RINO,” an acronym meaning “Republican in Name Only.” The Republican from South Carolina still praises Trump, praising him in a speech Friday at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Policy conference in Tennessee.

On Twitter, Kinzinger, one of Trump’s harshest conservative critics, retweeted a May 3, 2016 post from Graham. That old tweet came before Trump was officially named the Republican Party’s presidential nominee that year.

“Proof that Lindsey predicted the future 6 years and a month ago. Powerful talent,” the GOP lawmaker wrote in his retweet.

The Republican senator’s original message stated, “If we nominate Trump, we will be destroyed……and we will deserve it.”

About two and a half months after Graham tweeted the comment, Trump was then officially named the GOP presidential nominee at the 2016 Republican National Convention. The businessman and former reality TV star won 1,441 delegates in the state-by-state primaries and caucuses leading up to the convention. Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, came in second with 551 delegates.

In 2016, GOP Senator Lindsey Graham warned on Twitter that the Republican Party would be “destroyed” if it then nominated candidate Donald Trump. Above, Trump stands with Graham at a rally in South Carolina on February 28, 2020.
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Trump won the general election against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. When he took office, Republicans controlled the House, Senate and White House. By the time he left office four years later, the GOP had lost control of both houses of Congress and the presidency. However, polling data and assessments by political analysts suggest Republicans could likely regain control of the House, and possibly the Senate, in the upcoming midterm elections in November.

Despite Graham’s initial concerns, he put them aside and moved closer to Trump. In his remarks Friday, the GOP senator spoke favorably about how the former president scared everyone.

“You know what I loved about Trump? Everyone was scared of him, including me,” Graham told the conservative conference. “But here’s one thing I can tell you about him. Don’t contradict him. Don’t you miss it? Don’t you miss an America that people respected and were a little scared of?”

Notably, Trump in February criticized Graham. A number of Trump’s close allies have also taken aim at the Republican lawmaker in recent months.

The former president’s recent criticism came after Graham rejected his suggestion to pardon the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol rioters if he runs and is re-elected president in 2024. Asked about Graham’s rejection of the proposal in a interview with Newsmax, Trump said: “Well, Lindsey Graham is wrong. I mean, Lindsey is a nice guy, but he’s a RINO…”

Kinzinger voted with nine other House Republicans and all House Democrats to impeach Trump for inciting his supporters to attack the Capitol last year. Since then, the Illinois Republican has been a consistent critic of the former president and sits on the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 violence. The GOP congressman is not seeking re-election midterm.


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