"You can be as dark as charcoal and lily white, it doesn't matter as long as you're nice to him," Graham said
"What you say about him matters more than anything else," Graham added
Sen. Lindsey Graham is pushing back on allegations that President Donald Trump is a racist, saying that even the Pope isn’t safe from Trump’s counter-punches.
“You can be as dark as charcoal and lily white, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re nice to him. You can be the Pope and criticize him, it doesn’t matter. He’ll go after the Pope,” the South Carolina Republican told CNN’s Dana Bash in an exclusive interview.
“What you say about him matters more than anything else,” Graham added.
Graham’s response follows Trump’s reported use of the term “shithole countries” to describe certain African nations during a meeting to discuss immigration reform, a remark that some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle called racist.
Trump has feuded with Pope Francis in the past. During the 2016 campaign, the Pope said Trump’s plan to build a wall between the US and Mexico “is not Christian.” Trump called the comments “disgraceful.” The two met in May 2017.