- The Washington Times
Thursday, September 10, 2020

Fox News host Tucker Carlson blamed Sen. Lindsey Graham for President Trump speaking to journalist Bob Woodward in a number of telling interviews revealed Wednesday.

The conservative commentator and “Tucker Carlson Tonight” host accused Mr. Graham, South Carolina Republican, of encouraging the president to participate in Mr. Woodward’s upcoming book, “Rage,” and questioned his motives.

“Now remember, Lindsey Graham is supposed to be a Republican, so why would he do something like that?” Mr. Carlson asked during the latest episode of his cable show.

“You would have to ask him,” Mr. Carlson continued. “But keep in mind that Lindsey Graham has opposed — passionately opposed — virtually every major policy initiative that Donald Trump articulated when he first ran. From ending illegal immigration to pulling back from pointless wars to maintaining law and order at home. Lindsey Graham was against all of that, more than many Democrats. So maybe you already know the answer.”

Asked to comment on Mr. Carlson’s remarks, a spokesperson for the senator’s office told The Washington Times that Mr. Graham strongly supports Mr. Trump’s reelection.

Excerpts from “Rage” released earlier Wednesday revealed that Mr. Trump told Mr. Woodward he knew the novel coronavirus was more dangerous than the flu while he was publicly comparing the two.

“You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” Mr. Trump said about COVID-19, the disease the coronavirus causes, on Feb. 7. “It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu.”

“I wanted to always play it down,” Mr. Trump added March 19. “I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic.”

Democrats were quick to condemn Mr. Trump for having downplayed the threat posed by COVID-19, with Rep. Ted Lieu of California accusing him of dereliction of duty and “reckless homicide”

Mr. Graham told The Daily Beast following the release of the excerpts Wednesday that he recommended Mr. Trump speak with Mr. Woodward, the website reported.

“The last book Woodward wrote, Trump said he didn’t know that he had wanted to be interviewed. So I said, well, the guy is a well-known presidential author. And, you know, you got a chance to tell your side of the story. The president agreed and there you go,” said Mr. Graham, according to the website.

Mr. Trump defended having downplayed COVID-19 after excerpts from the interviews emerged Wednesday by saying he did not want people to panic. On Thursday, he said on Twitter his answers were “good and proper.”

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