Lindsey Graham Defends ‘Send Her Back’: ‘Trump Doesn’t Care About Skin Color If You’re Wearing a MAGA Hat’

Lindsey Graham Defends ‘Send Her Back’: ‘Trump Doesn’t Care About Skin Color If You’re Wearing a MAGA Hat’

Sen. Lindsey Graham had quite the remarkable defense of President Trump’s newfound fondness for getting his rally crowds to chant “Send her back!” about Rep. Ilhan Omar, the Somalia-born congresswoman.

In a press gaggle Thursday morning, Graham told a crowd of reporters that Trump does not care about skin color “if you’re wearing a MAGA hat.” In other words, he won’t suggest sending a black woman or anyone else back to her native land so long as she reveres Donald Trump.

“I don’t think a Somali refugee embracing Trump would not have been asked to go back. If you’re a racist you want everybody from Somalia to go back because they are black or Muslim. That’s not what this is about to me. What this is about to me is that these four congresswoman in their own way have been incredibly provocative.”

Embrace Trump or go back to your home country is thus not racist, just fascist. Remember, this is Graham’s defense of Trump.

Later, when a reporter tried to point out that telling a woman of color to go back where she came from has long been a racist trope, Graham repeated his assertion that Trump is not being racist:

“My point of view is, I’m not saying send her back. I’m saying as to President Trump, the bottom line is if you embrace his policies, it doesn’t matter where you come from, he probably likes you.”

To Graham, the issue is that Omar and her colleagues in the so-called “Squad” in the House are being deliberately provocative and should expect spirited pushback. That said pushback uses racist tropes spouted by white supremacists for centuries is simply beyond his capacity to understand. Or at least, to admit.

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.