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National Politics

Graham: Trump administration ‘incapable of forming a quid pro quo,’ Ukraine policy ‘incoherent’

Sen. Lindsey Graham criticized the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry on Wednesday while also issuing a rebuke, and potentially a new talking point, that the Trump administration was too inept to carry out a quid pro quo in regard to Ukraine foreign policy.

“What I can tell you about the Trump policy toward Ukraine: It was incoherent, it depends on who you talk to, they seem to be incapable of forming a quid pro quo,” the South Carolina Republican said outside the Senate Judiciary Committee. “So no, I find the whole process to be a sham and I’m not going to legitimize it.”

He still took aim at the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, saying, “I think the whole thing’s a crock,” and that “this whole theory of impeachment, the process is illegitimate, is outside the norm, this substance I find unpersuasive.”

The senator disparaged the Ukraine whistleblower’s claims and echoed the recent argument by fellow GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky that the whistleblower’s identity should be revealed.

“Yes, it should be made public,” Graham said. “The whistleblower’s claims cannot be used as a basis for criminal accusations, cannot be used (as) the basis for impeachment based on anonymity.”

Although Graham has been one of Trump’s staunchest defenders, his comments Wednesday about the President and his administration’s handling of Ukraine are reminiscent of critical remarks he made last month after the President decided to withdraw remaining military support from Syria, which Graham described as being”the biggest mistake of his presidency” and said abandoning the Kurds meant “blood on his hands.”

A week later, however, Graham introduced a resolution condemning the House impeachment inquiry process that was co-sponsored by dozens of his GOP colleagues in the Senate.

cnn