Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke to FNC host Sean Hannity about the Florida recount, criminal justice reform, and the Russia probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller.
"Wouldn't it be ironic if it were Donald Trump that would fix the problems created by the 'three strikes, you're out' rule passed by Bill Clinton," Graham said. "Wouldn't it be ironic if [Trump] allowed thousands of African-American and Hispanic males a second chance."
Transcript, via FOX News:
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS:I want to ask you about your thoughts on the recount and all of a sudden, you know, 80,000 here, 15,000 here, they just keep showing up.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Well, if Rick Scott had not weighed in the way he did, and President Trump had not spoken up, I think they would've stole this thing from us. Ninety-something thousand votes counted after the polls close. We stopped the bleeding. He has a lead now that can't be overcome in my view by a recount.
So, I think Rick Scott is going to win this and I think mathematically Nelson is eliminated. But thank God that President Trump and Rick Scott took this seriously.
HANNITY: Yes. Senator, we have a lot of important judicial appointments. We have the threat by Jeff Flake tonight about protecting Mueller. And I know you said that is fine, but the president said he has no intention of firing Mueller. It looks like some agreement has been made by the reports I read, between the president's lawyers and the special counsel, written answers. That would mean this is now coming to an end, at least in my mind.
GRAHAM: Well, this is a manufactured problem. President Trump is not going to fire Mueller. Mueller is going to be allowed to do his job. And we need conservative judges on the bench, as many as we can, as often as we can get them.
I don't know what Senator Grassley is going to do. He's been a great chairman of the committee. If I'm chairman next chairman, we are going to do judges, judges, and more judges.
And at the end of the day, I am convinced that Mr. Mueller will be allowed to do his job. I've not seen one scintilla of evidence of collusion. The obstruction of justice thing never made any sense to me. You can fire somebody who works as a political employment, the FBI director can be fired for almost any reason. And the Democrats wanted Comey fired.
So, I feel good about everything right now.
HANNITY: In many things, I think you had a key moment in the Kavanaugh hearings when you spoke up. It was a powerful moment and an important one in terms of what was going on with Justice now Kavanaugh.
And one of the people that made the most outrageous claims was Michael Avenatti.
HANNITY: He's facing serious charges tonight. But that story, we now know, it changed with the client that he was representing. It changed pretty dramatically in terms of what she said.
He made these accusations, and as I've been playing, I'm not saying this -- I believe in due process and the presumption of innocence, especially with serious charges. It has served this country so well. And to not be consistent, make me a hypocrite, I am consistent.
But I wonder if you have thoughts about this tonight.
GRAHAM: Well, number one, Ms. Swetnick's affidavit on its face just made no sense. Who would repeatedly go to parties for women who are being drugged and raped and not say anything about it and keep putting yourself at risk? So, the claim by Ms. Swetnick that was authored by Mr. Avenatti actually helped us because it was over the top.
Now, he's being charged, seems like a credible allegation, but he's entitled to the presumption of innocence. And I will give him that do. I'm not out to get Mr. Avenatti by turning the legal system upside down.
HANNITY: Nor am I. Whatever is fair, right, just, moral, let's stay with that.
GRAHAM: Right, exactly.
HANNITY: You said you are ready, perhaps, to reopen the Hillary email investigation. We know the Democrats in the House, they've been doing hundreds of different investigations. This is what is important to me, and people have said, well, why do you talk about Clinton? Because it's -- do we have dual justice system, or equal justice under the law, equal application of our laws?
That would mean an exoneration before an investigation in the case of Hillary Clinton. That would mean if we are going to talk about Russia and Russian influence, that has to go to the dossier, bought and paid for, funneled money into a law firm into an op research group, to a foreign national.
HANNITY: The bunk lies the author wouldn't even himself stand by when pressed in an interrogatory in Great Britain. Then, the leaking of such information to influence the 2016 elections, lies about Donald Trump paid for from Russia. And then of course, being used to appoint a special counsel. It is all of that on the table for you?
GRAHAM: You know, to my Democratic friends, if you want to look backwards, we are all going to look backwards. I want to know why the FBI reached to the conclusion along with the Department of Justice that Hillary Clinton didn't commit a crime. Was it because of political bias?
If you really wanted to stop Trump, how in the world could you indict her? Was the reason she wasn't indicted is because they wanted to make sure they stop Trump and how can you stop him if you indict her?
GRAHAM: Did the Department of Justice and the FBI use a document paid for by the Democratic Party? Research by foreign agents to get a warrant against an American citizen that was inappropriate, potentially unlawful?
We need a special counsel to look at all of this. But I intend to look at it.
HANNITY: I agree.
GRAHAM: I'm going to look at it. If you are going to keep plowing everything up in 2016, count me in. If you want to look for it, I will look for it. If you want to look back, we will all going to look back to everything and everybody. Not just a Trump.
HANNITY: Let me ask you this. I forgot the fraud on the FISA court, because that was the--
GRAHAM: That's the fraud on the FISA court.
HANNITY: -- Grassley-Graham memo.
HANNITY: The bulk of -- quote, "the bulk of information came from the phony, unverified, uncorroborated dossier that mostly has been debunked."
You know, there's a proposal by the White House today about prison reform.
HANNITY: I had the opportunity. We also had the video of Alice Marie Johnson, and when -- one defense, it was serious, 22 years in jail, raced out to the arms of her family. It was beyond a touching moment. And said thank you, America, for giving me a second chance, I'll not let you down when the president pardoned her.
And I look at prison reform. We've got two million people in jail.
HANNITY: In a five-year period, a 77 percent recidivism rate. I want to find every Alice Marie Johnson in America and I'd love the president to pardon one such person, 10 people a day if we can do that, because I think we do need real reform. There is unfairness in the system.
GRAHAM: Yes. Wouldn't it be ironic if it was Donald Trump who fixed the problems created by the three strikes, you out rule passed by Bill Clinton? Wouldn't it be ironic it was Donald Trump and the Republican Congress working with Democrats that allowed just thousands of African-American and Hispanic males a second chance for nonviolent offenses? And create bed space for truly violent people.
HANNITY: Well, punishment is not working. If you have a 77 percent recidivism rate, locking you up in a place with bad people and you're not helping or advancing and changing hearts and minds, it makes sense to me.
But senator, well follow that more. I think there is a lot of potential there.
GRAHAM: Yes, sure.
HANNITY: Imagine the president transforming the power of the pardon for every Alice Marie Johnson who I met and is an amazing woman. I think it would be great for the country.
GRAHAM: Well, getting minorities out of jail, giving them a second chance, improving the economy for African-American, Hispanic families is a very big deal.