The Slatest

Biden Says Lindsey Graham Will “Regret” Backing Trump on Ukraine: “I’m Embarrassed for You”

Lindsey Graham, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden in Jan. 2009.
Then–President-elect Barack Obama meets with then–Vice President–elect Joe Biden and Sen. Lindsey Graham in Washington on Jan. 14, 2009.
Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden is not mincing words when it comes to Sen. Lindsey Graham. Days after Graham, who leads the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked for documents from the State Department related to Biden and his son Hunter Biden, the former vice president said his longtime colleague would regret his actions. “Lindsey is about to go down in a way that I think he’s going to regret his whole life,” Biden told CNN.

At points Biden seemed to try to explain Graham’s actions by saying that “they have him under their thumb right now. They know he knows, if he comes out against Trump, he’s got a real tough road for re-election.” At the same time though, Biden was evidently frustrated that a man who worked alongside him for so many years would be the one to help Trump try to change the focus away from the impeachment inquiry by asking questions about the former vice president. “I am disappointed, and quite frankly I’m angered by the fact that he knows me, he knows my son, he knows there’s nothing to this,” Biden said Friday. “Trump is now essentially holding power over him that even the Ukrainians wouldn’t yield to. The Ukrainians would not yield to, quote, ‘investigate Biden’—there’s nothing to investigate about Biden or his son.”

When CNN’s Don Lemon asked Biden what he would say to Graham, Biden paused for a bit and then answered: “I say Lindsey, I just—I’m just embarrassed by what you’re doing, for you. I mean, my Lord.”

A spokesman for Biden told Politico that Graham “has forfeited his conscience to escape a primary.” Politico notes that the strong response from the Biden campaign illustrates “a new phase” of the Biden campaign’s effort to push back against Trump by noting that congressional Republicans only began to see a potential scandal involving the former vice president when it became a political problem for the president. “Trump is now counting on his Republican enablers in the Senate to bail him out,” Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said. “Driven by fear of a mean tweet, they are falling in line, peddling the same disproven lies we’ve heard for months.”

Graham’s office responded by saying that Democrats “have made it clear they will not look into the issues surrounding Hunter Biden and Burisma.” That has pushed Graham to request “documents which could shed additional light on these outstanding issues.” Graham requested the documents from the State Department after witnesses testified that there was no proof to support Trump’s assertion that Biden was corrupt in his handling of issues related to Ukraine when he was vice president.

Rudy Giuliani said on Twitter that Biden’s remarks amounted to “a threat to a US senator.”