Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) shared an emotional moment while discussing their friendship during a CNN town hall Wednesday evening.
Asked how the two can remain such close friends in a town like Washington, D.C., McCain said they share common interests and common values. Their friendship, he said, began during former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial.
McCain recalled a joke Graham, who was then a member of the House, told during the impeachment proceedings about 2 a.m. phone calls from the White House to Monica Lewinsky.
"Congressman Graham, on the most solemn occasion, said, 'You know, where I come from, any man calling a woman at 2 a.m. is up to no good,' " McCain said. "I knew right then that Lindsey Graham was a guy I wanted to spend time with."
McCain also praised Graham’s service to the country, and his efforts to raise his younger sister after their parents died.
“It's quite a great American success story," McCain said of Graham’s life.
Graham called McCain “cantankerous” before thanking him for his loyalty.
“In 2014, I had six primary opponents from mildly disturbed to completely crazy,” Graham said. “John came down and stood by me.”
Graham said McCain offered him support even though he was “unpopular” for working with lawmakers on the other side of the aisle on issues like immigration.
“When I ran for president — most of you missed it — John was with me,” Graham said.
“He is loyal to his friends, he loves his country, and if he has to stand up to his party for his country, so be it. He would die for his country. I love him to death,” Graham said, as he wiped away a tear.
McCain tapped his heart in response.
"I feel like I'm on Oprah now," Graham quipped after the audience applauded.
Beautiful moment between John McCain and Lindsey Graham, particularly 3:35 till the end https://t.co/6ZEELqlBkc
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) March 2, 2017