Despite being one of President Donald Trump’s most loyal backers, Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham was heckled by the president’s supporters at Reagan International Airport on Friday. Trump supporters had choice words for the Republican Senator who finally broke with Trump earlier this week after a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol led by white nationalists and MAGA loyalists.
After spending the months since the election hyping up Trump’s base with conspiracy theories about the election being stolen, Graham is facing the consequences of his actions. In videos posted to Twitter, several people can be heard calling Graham a “traitor,” with one woman threatening, “You know it was rigged! It’s gonna be like this wherever you go for the rest of your life. Audit the vote!” The same woman later called him a “garbage human being.”
Another person called Graham a “sex trafficker,” an apparent nod to the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory that Democrats are involved in an underground child sex trafficking ring. The mob of Trump supporters — many of them maskless after attending a super-spreader insurrection in the middle of a global pandemic — followed Graham to his gate, and repeatedly hurled insults at him.
During Wednesday’s Congressional vote to certify the Electoral College results, Graham finally voted in favor of certifying incoming president Joe Biden.
“All I can say is, count me out. Enough is enough... It is over,” he said on the Senate floor, following the siege earlier that day. “I prayed Joe Biden would lose. 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 January 20th.” He added, “Trump, we’ve had a hell of a journey. I hate it to end this way. Oh my God, I hate it. From my point of view, he’s been a consequential president. But today... all I can say is, count me out.”
At a press conference on Thursday, Graham denounced the attack on the Capitol and implicated Trump in the violence. "When it comes to accountability the president needs to understand that his actions were the problem not the solution," he said.
Perhaps Graham is getting exactly what he deserves after pushing lies about the election that put peoples lives in danger. Unfortunately, the mob of angry Trump supporters who were obviously in D.C. for some kind of political event — an attempted coup, perhaps? — also pose a public health risk to anyone around them at the airport, and especially to people boarding the same flights. The fact that any of these insurrectionists are even allowed to get on a flight home two days after storming the Capitol speaks volumes.