South Carolina’s senior U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham is softening his tone on Donald Trump.
According to the Greenville News, Graham said he expects to support the president-elect on issues like more infrastructure and defense spending.
The Republican constantly feuded with Trump during his own presidential campaign and called Trump a race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot during a December CNN interview. However, he conceded this week that he will probably support Trump’s Cabinet and Supreme Court nominees. Graham also sounded a bipartisan tone when he said that there are deals to be made with Democrats on issues like replenishing the Highway Trust Fund and amending the Affordable Care Act.
A willingness to work with Trump on certain issues is somewhat of a change of heart for Graham, who opposed Trump’s candidacy and said that he was dangerously unprepared for the White House. Graham was one of 16 Republicans Trump beat in the primary. Unlike most of the other candidates, however, Graham said publicly he did not vote for Trump and instead cast his ballot for independent candidate Evan McMullin. Before the election, Graham incorrectly predicted that Trump would lose to Hillary Clinton.
After the election, Graham created a list of things where he thought he could agree with Trump. Things on that list include money to deepen the Port of Charleston, lifting restrictions on Pentagon spending, increasing the budget to counter Islamic State terrorism in the Middle East and giving Trump the power to alter the terms of the Iranian nuclear deal.
Graham said that he’ll support Trump’s efforts to increase security along the Mexican border, but Trump has to look hard at the consequences of trying to deport children and young adults who lack legal status, but have lived in the U.S. most of their lives. The senator also said that he would not vote for legislation that treats a grandmother and a drug dealer the same, in reference to Trump’s immigration policy proposals on how to deal with the estimated 11 million illegal aliens in the country.