Former President Donald Trump denied he spoke to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham about his 2020 election fraud claims, despite reporting to the contrary in a new book by famed Watergate journalist Bob Woodward and reporter Robert Costa.
Trump said in a Wednesday statement that he “spent virtually no time” talking to Graham — a Trump ally — about his unfounded claims of widespread fraud plaguing the 2020 presidential election. Trump also denied speaking about the issue with Republican Sen. Mike Lee, of Utah, another point detailed in the book, titled “Peril.”
“Lindsey and Mike should be ashamed of themselves for not putting up the fight necessary to win,” Trump said by way of his Save America political action committee.
In their new book, Woodward and Costa reported that on Jan. 2 — four days before a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol as Congress voted to certify President Joe Biden’s win — Graham met with Trump’s legal team and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
At that meeting, the book reports the three talked about evidence that could be in the president’s favor. Graham, the book reported, was unsatisfied with the allegations of voter fraud that were presented and asked Giuliani for something substantial.
The book goes on to detail efforts by Graham to investigate the president’s and Giuliani’s claims.
In the 10 months since the election, Trump’s allegations of widespread voter fraud have never been proven. Investigations into Trump’s claims also have been largely fruitless.
Reports of Graham digging into claims of fraud surfaced right after the election.
Then, the Washington Post reported Graham called Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and asked about signatures not matching on absentee ballots, among other questions. The call sparked an ethics complaint against Graham.
By January, however, Graham’s tone changed significantly.
In a floor speech soon after rioters were forcibly removed from the Capitol, Graham said, “We gotta end it.”
“He’s the legitimate president of the United States,” Graham said, referring to Biden. “I cannot convince people, certain groups, by my words. But I will tell you by my actions that I, above all others in this body need to say this, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are lawfully elected and will become the president and vice president of the United States on Jan. 20.”
On Jan. 7, Graham held a press conference calling for Trump and his allies to stop pushing claims of election fraud.
“The people on the campaign legal team have made accusations without sufficient proof,” Graham said. “They have been more the problem than the solution. They have claimed that 66,000 people in Georgia voted under 18. Have not found one person. They have claimed that 8,000 felons voted from prison in Arizona. I’ve asked for a list of names and received none.”