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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: 144544

Reported Deaths: 3729
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto956999
Hinds9541193
Harrison6825105
Jackson6068116
Rankin523796
Lee480294
Madison4602102
Forrest367185
Jones344687
Lauderdale3343142
Lafayette313347
Washington3088106
Lamar281849
Bolivar237883
Oktibbeha237760
Lowndes228362
Neshoba2171113
Panola211047
Marshall207247
Leflore200789
Pontotoc193227
Monroe189577
Sunflower189554
Lincoln183964
Warren172157
Tate163349
Union160125
Pike160058
Copiah158840
Yazoo150638
Scott149929
Coahoma147342
Itawamba145533
Alcorn143724
Simpson143553
Pearl River142967
Prentiss139526
Grenada136344
Adams135948
Leake131643
Holmes124461
George121623
Tippah120930
Covington117234
Winston115824
Wayne115722
Hancock114137
Marion110746
Attala106233
Tishomingo106042
Newton102829
Chickasaw102332
Tallahatchie94727
Clarke88253
Clay86726
Jasper81121
Walthall74328
Stone72314
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71213
Carroll70514
Lawrence69914
Noxubee69017
Smith68616
Yalobusha67926
Perry65225
Tunica59519
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54117
Humphreys52518
Amite50814
Benton48217
Quitman4786
Webster41614
Kemper40815
Wilkinson38422
Jefferson34011
Franklin3185
Sharkey30617
Choctaw3057
Issaquena1114
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 234080

Reported Deaths: 3459
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson30620491
Mobile19306358
Tuscaloosa12501148
Madison12410146
Montgomery12040232
Shelby980576
Baldwin826984
Lee753964
Morgan618247
Calhoun5997113
Etowah590564
Marshall581953
Houston507038
DeKalb463535
Cullman412636
Limestone404544
St. Clair398455
Elmore393961
Lauderdale382953
Walker349096
Talladega335942
Colbert296341
Jackson291924
Blount276336
Autauga263439
Franklin244833
Coffee233415
Dale226654
Dallas220231
Russell21803
Chilton216937
Covington212533
Escambia194431
Tallapoosa169290
Chambers168048
Pike155514
Clarke155419
Marion134535
Winston123723
Lawrence122436
Geneva11748
Marengo116924
Barbour116110
Pickens115318
Bibb114217
Butler113741
Randolph99821
Cherokee98924
Hale91631
Washington90018
Clay89423
Fayette84416
Henry8426
Lowndes78729
Monroe76811
Cleburne74414
Crenshaw70330
Macon70020
Bullock69019
Conecuh66814
Perry6686
Lamar6267
Wilcox62418
Sumter55322
Choctaw41713
Greene40217
Coosa3074
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