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Lindsey Graham couldn’t care less about Sharpiegate: ‘This whole thing is a bunch of garbage’
Sen. Lindsey Graham had some choice words for the media this week on their endless “Sharpiegate” drama.
Graham (R-SC) told Fox on Tuesday that he “could[n’t] give a crap” about an investigation into whether Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross threatened to fire federal officials for contradicting President Donald Trump’s comments on Hurricane Dorian, Mediaite reports.
Graham dismisses “Sharpiegate”
More than a week after Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Bahamas and scraped the East Coast, the media is still gossiping about a Sept. 1 tweet from President Trump in which he claimed that Alabama was in the storm’s path. The scandal, known as “Sharpiegate,” has outlasted the hurricane itself, with no small help from journalists out to get the president.
The latest development in the story came Monday when The New York Times reported that Ross phoned the acting director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which the Commerce Department oversees, threatening to fire NOAA officials if they did not discipline meteorologists at the National Weather Service (NWS) who had contradicted Trump’s Alabama claim.
The report fed into the narrative that the Trump administration had pressured NOAA into releasing an unsigned statement Friday that disavowed the NWS in favor of Trump.
Fox’s Brett Baier asked Graham Tuesday what he thought of claims that Ross put his “thumb on the scale,” but the Trump booster wasn’t interested in giving more attention to the contrived scandal than it deserves. “I could[n’t] care less. This whole thing is a bunch of garbage,” Graham said, according to The Washington Examiner.
Democrats have since called on Ross to resign, and he is facing an investigation from the Commerce Department’s inspector general. For its part, the Commerce Department has said that the Times‘ story is false.
Out to get Trump
All through last week, President Trump accused the “Fake News” of generating a fake scandal to embarrass him and continually pointed to early forecasts that showed Alabama could feel the impact of the storm. The media continued to pile on after the president displayed a hurricane map in the Oval Office that showed a cone reportedly drawn in Sharpie that included Alabama in the storm’s path.
The hysteria reached a fever pitch when NOAA issued its statement Friday siding with Trump instead of the NWS, leading many Trump critics to declare that Trump was winning in the “war on truth.” To Graham, though, Sharpiegate is just more “get Trump” media nonsense.
“The president did have a model where it could hit Alabama if it went through Florida,” Graham said. “This is the Trump world. The guy can’t do anything without getting criticized by a bunch of people who just hate his guts and I’m not playing that game.”
Once labeled “Lindsey Grahmnesty” by Rush Limbaugh for his conciliatory manner and soft position on immigration, the one-time Trump foe has since become one of the president’s loudest boosters. Graham has generated much mockery — and disappointment — on the left over his Trumpian evolution, which seems to have included a new penchant for swearing.
But it is indeed remarkable that the media devoted so much attention to a Sharpie drawing when an actual hurricane destroyed the northern Bahamas and killed at least 40 people. Graham is right: the country has bigger problems than this prattle.
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