Sen. Lindsey Graham took apart ABC’s George Stephanopoulos during a Sunday interview after the former Clinton official tried to claim that former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case is somehow worse than those involving real spies as well as that of Hillary Clinton, who destroyed evidence and kept an unsecured email server in her home.
Graham gave a spirited defense of the allegations against Trump. Here’s a partial transcript (see video below):
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM: Well, here’s what I believe. We live in an America where, if you’re the Democratic candidate for president, Hillary Clinton, secretary of state, you can set up a private server in your basement to conduct government business. And when an investigation… This panel you had was ridiculous — well, yeah, I’m trying to answer the question from a Republican point of view. That may not be acceptable on this show.
Yes, I don’t like what President Trump did in certain aspects. I don’t like that Joe Biden had classified information on the garage. I don’t like that Mike Pence carelessly took classified information. I don’t like any of that. But what I don’t like is a system in America where the secretary of state, who’s a Democratic candidate for president, has people take a hammer to social media devices and break them apart, apply BleachBit to a hard drive to erase e-mails, allow classified information to get on a felon’s computer — Anthony Weiner. You haven’t even mentioned that.
Most Republicans believe we live in a country where Hillary Clinton did very similar things and nothing happened to her. President Trump will have his day in court. But espionage charges are absolutely ridiculous. Whether you like Trump or not, he did not commit espionage. He did not disseminate, leak or provide information to a foreign power or to a news organization to damage this country. He is not a spy. He’s overcharged. Did he do things wrong? Yes, he may have. He will be tried about that. But Hillary Clinton wasn’t. Your old boss committed perjury in a civil lawsuit, lost his law license, obstructed justice in a dozen ways, and he didn’t get prosecuted.
I can’t stress to you enough… He was impeached, but he wasn’t prosecuted.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve made your point. But you also said something that I believe is not true, based on what’s in the indictment. You said that he did not disseminate any of this information. In fact, there’s an audiotape in the indictment where he’s talking about the secret information, saying he knows it’s secret, knows it’s not declassified.
GRAHAM: OK, let’s talk about that. I don’t know what happened; I haven’t heard the audio. But look at who’s been charged under the Espionage Act, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, people who turned over classified information to news organizations to hurt the country or provide it to a foreign power. That did not happen here.
Donald Trump — you may hate his guts, but he is not a spy; he did not commit espionage. What he did is very similar, in my view, to what Hillary Clinton did. People in the Clinton case took a hammer to a BlackBerry and destroyed it. They wiped clean, with BleachBit, e-mails. They said they were all personal, but some of them actually were classified. And it wound up on Anthony Weiner’s computer, and not a damn thing happened to her.
Give me a break… He didn’t do it.