Lindsey Graham Criticized Donald Trump's 'Rigged' Election Claims in Resurfaced 2016 Tweet

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) criticized President Donald Trump for claiming the presidential election would be rigged in 2016, a newly resurfaced tweet from the Republican has shown.

Graham, who is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has faced calls to resign his chairmanship following a report claiming he asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger if he could throw out legally cast ballots in some of the state's counties.

Raffensperger made the claim in an interview with the Washington Post, although Graham has denied pressuring him to toss votes. Raffensperger, a Republican, was "stunned" by the question.

On October 19, 2016, Graham tweeted a message clearly criticizing then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for remarks he'd made in the final presidential debate.

Debating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Trump had refused to commit to accepting the results of the election.

"My thoughts on a 'rigged' presidential election," Graham tweeted, adding a written statement.

My thoughts on a 'rigged' presidential election.

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 20, 2016

"Like most Americans I have confidence in our democracy and election system," the statement said. "During this debate, Mr. Trump is doing the party and the country a great disservice by continuing to suggest the outcome of this election is out of his hands and 'rigged' against him.

"If he loses, it will not be because the system is 'rigged' but because he failed as a candidate."

Graham was initially a critic of Trump and opposed his nomination, but after the 2016 election the South Carolina senator gradually changed his position and became a staunch ally of the president.

The Trump campaign has made unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud and other irregularities as it pursues lawsuits in several crucial states. The suits have so far proven largely unsuccessful.

The Associated Press and major cable news networks have called the election for former Vice President Joe Biden, while Graham has said he will use the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate alleged voter fraud.

"It is imperative that all credible allegations of voting irregularities and misconduct be investigated to ensure the integrity of the 2020 elections," Graham said in a statement on November 8.

"The presidential election remains close in multiple states, and as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, all credible allegations of voting irregularities and misconduct will be taken seriously. I will not allow credible allegations of voting irregularities or misconduct to be swept under the rug."

There has been no credible evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election so far, with federal and state officials dismissing allegations that the election was compromised.

Sen. Lindsey Graham at Senate Judiciary
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) listening during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on November 10, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The hearing was related to Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI's Russia investigation. Graham dismissed claims of election rigging in 2016. Susan Walsh - Pool/Getty Images