An MSNBC host suggested Tuesday the only reason that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is offering his seemingly endless support to President Donald Trump is because he is being blackmailed.
What's the background?
As has been well documented, Graham vehemently opposed Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election, citing Trump's character and leadership abilities, as well as his allegedly bigoted policy proposals.
In December 2015, Graham characterized Trump as "a race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot. He doesn't represent my party. He doesn't represent the values that the men and women who wear the uniform are fighting for."
Now, more than three years later, Graham is one of Trump's biggest defenders, routinely advising the president on matters of both foreign and domestic policy.
What did the host say?
MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle implied, without evidence, that Graham's change-of-heart is connected to an "extreme" secret over which he is being blackmailed.
During a discussion on her show, former Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.) noted Graham's fierce Trump opposition during the 2016 Republican primary and that any change-of-heart since did not originate with Trump.
"I doubt Lindsey Graham could tell you Donald Trump has had a change of heart in the last 24 months. I bet the change of heart has been with Lindsey Graham, not the president," Jolly said.
To which Ruhle replied with her conspiratorial theory.
"Or it could be that Donald Trump or somebody knows something pretty extreme about Lindsey Graham," Ruhle said. "We're gonna have to leave it there."
What is Ruhle referring to?
While Ruhle did not elaborate, many believe such a secret could be related to Graham's personal life, specifically his sexuality.
As the Washington Examiner's Becket Adams explained:
For a network whose programming consists almost entirely of anchors and guests detecting and decrying perceived dog whistles, it's extremely amusing that one of its daytime hosts would whistle so.
Look, Ruhle may not have said explicitly, “Trump might be blackmailing Graham with proof that the senator is secretly gay," but she's not kidding anyone. Ruhle is well aware that such rumors and attacks have followed Graham for as long as he has been Congress. That's certainly what Ruhle was alluding to on Tuesday.
It would be bad enough if Ruhle were just winking at the rumors alleging Graham is a closeted gay man. It's much worse that she credited these rumors as an explanation of the senator's words and actions.
TheBlaze reached out to Graham's office for comment, but did not hear back as of press time.