Graham Warns Trump: Testifying Under Oath Would Be Highest-Rated TV Program Ever, But You "Could Go Down" For "Talking"


Sen. Lindsey Graham invites President Trump to testify with James Comey in the Senate Judiciary Committee, but warns that doing so could cause President Trump to "be the first president in history to go down because you can't stop inappropriately talking," even if he hasn't committed any other criminal act.

JOHN DICKERSON: Do you think the president was vindicated? He thought he was vindicated--

LINDSEY GRAHAM: Well, I think it was true that he's not under investigation for colluding with the Russians, and I don't think what was said amounts to obstruction of justice. Now, what the president did was inappropriate. But here's what's so frustrating for Republicans like me.

You may be the first president in history to go down because you can't stop inappropriately talking about an investigation that if you just were quiet, would clear you. It's frustrating for me to want to help a man who I think will do big things no other Republican would do, like immigration.

Believe it or not, I think Donald Trump may deliver us from a broken immigration system. This is not helping. This should be in the judiciary committee. I heard Dianne Feinstein on the show earlier today. You had Comey suggest that the current U.S. attorney general and the former attorney general were playing politics with the investigation.

Lynch and Sessions. That needs to be in our committee. Let me tell you this, to the American people. If the attorney general's office has become a political office, that's bad for us all. So I want to get to the bottom of that, and it should be in judiciary.

JOHN DICKERSON: What do you want to know from Attorney General Sessions?

LINDSEY GRAHAM: Well, I want to know, is it true what Comey said? Did you create an atmosphere there that people believed that you could not fairly render judgment on the president's interactions with Comey? I want to hear from Loretta Lynch, did you say, "Please call it a matter, not an investigation."?

And I want Comey to come to our committee, because I know on two separate occasions, he has told members of the House and the Senate that the main reason he jumped into the election last year and took over the job of attorney general is because he believed there were emails between the Democratic National Committee and the Department of Justice that compromised the Department of Justice, and he thought the Russians were going to release these emails. That's why he jumped in and took over Loretta Lynch's job. I want to know, is that true?

JOHN DICKERSON: Well, now, though, that email, there's been some reporting that that was a fake email, or doctored--

LINDSEY GRAHAM: When he told the House and Senate as late--as early as a month ago, he never mentioned it was fake. I don't know if it's fake or not. But the F.B.I. called me about this, John, and said that they wanted to brief me because I've got some of this wrong.

I saw the Washington Post story. I doubt if it's fake. Maybe it is. But I don't want to be briefed by myself. I want Democrats and Republicans on the judiciary to be briefed together. Our committee has been together and we're going to stay together.

JOHN DICKERSON: So since, we'll stay in the past here a for moment, move into the present. So you would have former attorney general Loretta Lynch come before the judiciary committee--


JOHN DICKERSON:--to answer for these questions about--

LINDSEY GRAHAM: Absolutely. And Sessions, too. And, you know, I think it's inappropriate for the president to testify publicly. But if you're so obsessed about-- and I know you're frustrated. He doesn't believe he did anything wrong with the Russians, and I tend to believe him. He can't collude with his own government. Why do you think he's colluding with the Russians?

So there's a part of this that genuinely frustrates the president. But Mr. President, let's don't make a circus out of your presidency. If you want to come to the judiciary committee and testify under oath, we'll put Comey right by you. It'd be the highest-rated TV show in the history of the world, but it's not good for our democracy.

JOHN DICKERSON: Isn't the challenge to the president not the collusion question, but the interference question? And wouldn't that be the tough questions for him?

LINDSEY GRAHAM: So here's what I think. I think the president believes that if we pursue how Russia interfered with the election, we're suggesting he did not win fairly. I see no evidence of the president's campaign colluding with the Russians. I see all kind of evidence of the Russians trying to destroy our election and destroy democracy at the world.

There will be a bill passed this coming week to punish Russia for interfering in our elections. They hacked into the DNC. Podesta's emails, it was the Russians. They're providing arms to the Taliban to kill American soldiers. They colluded with Assad so he could keep his chemical weapons.

And I think they were complicit in the attack of chemical weapons by Assad on children in Syria. We're going to punish the Russians. Any member of the Congress who doesn't want to punish Russia for what they've done is betraying democracy. And if the president doesn't sign this bill to punish Russia, he would be betraying democracy.

JOHN DICKERSON: What do you think he'll do?

LINDSEY GRAHAM: I think he'll sign it. And if he doesn't sign it, we're going to override his veto. Mr. President, the Russians did this. They're doing it all over the world. They're providing arms to the Taliban to kill our soldiers. You're the commander in chief. You need to stand up to Russia. We're never going to reset our relationship with Russia until we punish them for trying to destroy democracy. And that starts with more sanctions.

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