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Video shows Lindsey Graham walking away from veteran asking about Trump

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  • A video posted online on Friday by the progressive veterans group Common Defense showed Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina abruptly walking away from a Marine veteran who approached Graham to ask about impeachment. 
  • The video shows Jeff Key telling Graham that Trump wasn’t following the oath he and Graham took to defend the constitution, to which Graham responded, “yeah I did, and I don’t agree with you, and I gotta go.”
  • A spokesperson for Graham, however, told Insider that the video didn’t show the whole story, saying that Graham’s office alerted Capitol Police after Key tried to follow Graham into his office and made a “vulgar comment.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A viral video posted online on Friday by the progressive veterans group Common Defense showed Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina abruptly walking away from a Marine veteran who approached Graham to ask him about impeachment. 

Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a staunch ally of President Donald Trump, has been one of the president’s most vocal defenders as Trump faces impeachment. 

The video, posted Friday, showed Marine veteran Jeff Key approach Graham in the halls of Congress on Wednesday. Key’s Twitter profile describes him as a “former Marine, Iraq veteran, peace activist, and queer civil rights activist.” Graham also has a military background, serving as a Judge Advocate General in the Air Force in the 1980s, and continuing to serve in the Air Force Reserves after being elected to Congress. 

 

“I see how you’re berated in the press, and I honestly believe that you believe in our democracy as I do,” Key said. “I came to DC because I’m a Marine, I went to Iraq, and I believe, as I believe that you do, that President Trump is not acting in accordance to his oath, the oath that you took and I did to defend the constitution.” 

“Yeah I did, and I don’t agree with you, and I gotta go,” Graham said before walking away into his office. 

A Common Defense spokesperson told Insider that Key traveled to Washington from Louisiana as one of 65 veterans who traveled to DC this week “to engage with members of Congress and persuade them to support impeachment of Donald Trump.”

“Jeff Key was deeply disappointed in Senator Graham, and had hoped that they could have had a genuine conversation,” Common Defense said. “Unfortunately, Lindsey Graham has made clear that he is more interested in subverting the Constitutional process of investigating Trump’s crimes, than having serious engagement with concerned veterans.”

The video now has over one million views of Twitter alone, and has spurred plentiful criticism of Graham, with a headline in Rolling Stone about the incident reading, “Lindsey Graham Is a Coward, Exhibit 39204.”

A representative for Graham, however, told Insider that the viral video didn’t show the whole story of their interaction.

Spokesman Kevin Bishop said in a Friday email that after the point at which the clip ended, Key “actually followed Senator Graham after he walked away” into his office, where Key “made his way towards the door and proceeded to make a vulgar comment,” but did not enter Graham’s office.

Bishop additionally said that Graham’s staff immediately contacted Capitol Police, which gave Graham police protection for traveling between Senate hearings and his congressional office. 

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