It's hard to know where Lindsey Graham is these days.
There was a hot minute when I thought he might be the voice of sanity and reason in a senate rapidly turning into a fever swamp of conspiracies and Russian apologizing.
But then he started playing golf with Trump and something clicked. Suddenly he was denying he said things he was on tape saying. He spoke about how we needed to give Trump a break.
I think he's still cultivating his branding as the "reasonable" one with the corporate media. But it also makes for strangely scattered interview, where he gives lip service to the abject stupidity of the GOP distraction conspiracies and then gives Mueller some advice on his investigation.
"I don't know if the story is true or not, but I know this Mueller should look at it." Graham started, as if this isn't something Mueller wouldn't investigate, but sure, spell it out for the low info voters.
"I have complete confidence in Mr. Mueller." This is obviously a little smack down to Republicans' main talking point. Somebody is not getting booked on Hannity any time soon.
"When he found two FBI agents had a bias against President Trump, he fired them. So, all this stuff about the FBI and DOJ having a bias against Trump and for Clinton needs to be looked at." Oh, and then he goes right back to the conspiracy. The FBI agents in question weren't biased FOR Clinton. They didn't have anything nice to say about her (or Bernie) either. In fact, they took a dim view of politicians in general. But hey, don't let context and facts bother you. Or you, Martha Raddatz. After all, we don't expect journalists to offer contextualizing or fact checking any more.
But let's go back to Mr. Reasonable Graham. Despite the whole reason for the Mueller investigation being the interference in our elections by a hostile foreign entity (something that we KNOW now definitely happened and that the entire Republican majority seem rather disinterested in), and that Mueller has run an fairly leak-proof operation, playing their cards close to the chest, Lindsey hasn't seen any evidence of collusion yet.
"So I will do whatever it takes to make sure that Mr. Mueller can do his job. We're a rule of law nation before President Trump, we're going to be a rule of law nation after President Trump. I have never any -- I haven't yet seen any evidence of collusion between President Trump and the Russians, but the investigation needs to go forward without political interference and I'm sure it will."
Well, sure, if you ignore Paul Manafort, and Michael Flynn, and George Papadopoulos, then of course, there's no prima facie evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign...yet.
You know, Graham isn't stupid. He's a former JAG officer too. He has to know that this is not a good line to toe.
But never let it be said that the Republicans aren't willing to go down with the ship.