Top Trump ally Graham to President over Dingell attack: 'This isn't funny'

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) calls out President Trump after Trump's attack on former congressman John Dingell, the late husband of Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI).

Posted: Dec 20, 2019 7:10 AM
Updated: Dec 20, 2019 7:10 AM

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close ally of Donald Trump, issued a rare rebuke of the President on Thursday when he said Trump's crude attack on the late Rep. John Dingell is "not funny."

Trump drew widespread criticism on Wednesday when, during a rally in Dingell's home state of Michigan, he implied that the late Democratic congressman was "looking up" from hell.

"The bottom line is, it's not a funny joke and you're not helping yourself," Graham, speaking to reporters following a meeting with the President at the White House, said he told Trump.

Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said that there's "no personal animosity" between Trump and Dingell, arguing that Trump had "made sure" that Dingell was "honored as being one of the greatest members of the House ever" with a full military funeral.

"I can understand being frustrated, but Mr. President, pull us together as a country. This joke does not help. It is not funny in my view," Graham said.

Asked how Trump reacted, Graham said, "he's going to decide how to conduct himself in that regard" noting that Trump has "said this joke about several people, not just John Dingell."

"I want you to be successful but I'm not going to tell you things I don't believe. It's not funny," Graham said he told the President.

Graham's response is notable not just because of his close ties with Trump, but because congressional Republicans rarely criticize the President, including in the aftermath of his swipe at Dingell, a longtime colleague.

Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell, who now holds her husband's seat in the House, has responded to Trump's attacks, telling CNN the comments will not intimidate her and that she doesn't want an apology from the President.

Dingell's fellow Michigan representative, Republican Rep. Fred Upton, said late Wednesday night that "there was no need to 'dis' him in a crass political way. Most unfortunate and an apology is due."

Since the election, Graham has gone from one of Trump's most vehement critics to one of his most vociferous defenders. The South Carolina Republican also was close friends with the late Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, who had a contentious relationship with Trump. Trump has occasionally criticized McCain even after his death in August 2018, to which Graham has offered tepid criticism.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319948

Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
Lauderdale7261242
Lowndes6517150
Lamar635188
Lafayette6313121
Washington5425137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4670110
Oktibbeha466198
Pearl River4605147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425873
Monroe4157135
Union415777
Neshoba4063179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386987
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3371111
Alcorn327272
Scott320374
Yazoo314171
Adams308086
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298589
Tippah291968
Prentiss284161
Leake272074
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264642
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248663
Tishomingo231868
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190474
Stone188433
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
Calhoun14719327
Morgan14629285
Etowah14175364
Marshall12453230
Houston10781287
Elmore10293214
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10162251
Cullman9952201
Lauderdale9603250
DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
Colbert6413140
Coffee5635127
Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
Fayette218862
Henry194543
Randolph187544
Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
Conecuh113630
Coosa111729
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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