South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham on Friday was heckled by a crowd of people accusing him of being a "traitor" and demanding that he support an effort to audit the 2020 election while he awaited a flight at Reagan National Airport.
Graham was confronted by actress Mindy Robinson, who claimed to have filmed the incident, and others after declaring his opposition to forming a commission to examine the 2020 election amid President Trump's continued allegations of widespread voter fraud.
"All America wants is for you to AUDIT OUR VOTE and purge this election of this massive corruption...and you won't do it," Robinson tweeted. "We're not letting this 'slide' so expect more of this."
Lindsey Graham just made the mistake walking by me and a mass of angry patriots at the airport in DC. All America… https://t.co/5ltOHgFzZJ— Mindy Robinson 🇺🇸 (@Mindy Robinson 🇺🇸)1610131703.0
On Wednesday, as Congress debated objections to certifying certain slates of electors, Graham said on the Senate floor that President-elect Joe Biden is the "legitimate president of the United States" and declared his opposition to a proposal from his fellow South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott to form an emergency commission to examine the 2020 election. He called the proposal, a "uniquely bad idea to delay this election."
"Count me out. Enough is enough," he said.
Graham also explained why he did not vote to object to the results of the Electoral College, as some of his colleagues did and as President Trump demanded of Republicans.
"I prayed [Biden] would lose," Graham said Wednesday night. "He won. He's the legitimate President of the United States. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are lawfully elected and will become the president and vice president of the United States on Jan 20."
Politico reporter Alex Thompson shared video of how the confrontation at the airport began, with an unidentified male voice asking Graham to make a statement "accounting for your actions" and insisting that "nobody's going to hurt you."
Here’s the video of how it started https://t.co/Im7nI2BcBm— Alex Thompson (@Alex Thompson)1610135060.0
After Graham refused to give an answer, the crowd chanted "audit our vote" and "traitor" as he was escorted away by airport security. Some in the crowd hurled profanities at the senator and someone yelled "enjoy Gitmo" at him.
Graham was also criticized by Democrats Friday after he issued a statement opposing an effort approved of by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to impeach President Trump a second time before he leaves office.
"If Speaker Pelosi pushes impeachment in the last days of the Trump presidency it will do more harm than good," he tweeted Friday. "I'm hopeful President-elect Biden sees the damage that would be done from such action.
"Any attempt to impeach President Trump would not only be unsuccessful in the Senate but would be a dangerous precedent for the future of the presidency. It will take both parties to heal the nation," he added.
New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pounced on Graham's statement and accused him of "defending" the Capitol Hill violence that contributed to the death of a police officer, a female protester and three others.
“Move on?” “Moving on” does not mean “forget about it,” @LindseyGrahamSC. “Moving on” requires accountability. A… https://t.co/vogvtYkCfE— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1610124349.0
Top House Democrat Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the majority whip, also criticized Graham's comments and called for President Trump to be removed from office via the 25th Amendment or short of that through impeachment.
"This is bad stuff, and it's time for everybody to call it what it is," Clyburn told reporters Friday. "It is time for the Republican leadership to invoke the 25th Amendment [to remove Trump from office]. They need to do it. [Vice President Mike] Pence needs to do it. But if he doesn't, we need to impeach.
"If you look at the speeches he's made in the last couple of weeks, what he said that led to this insurrection, there is no telling what he would say or what he would to to imperil this country," Clyburn said. "I'm trying to help protect this country, and once again, [Graham] sounds like he's trying to help protect a president."