“I’ve been applauded, and I’ve been a-booed,” Graham told reporters Friday with something of a rueful laugh. “I know my day will come. I’ll do something that this moment in time will pass. I’ll talk about climate change and overturning Citizens United. These things come and go,” he said. Citizens United refers to the landmark 2010 Supreme Court ruling that allowed corporations and unions to be directly involved in political messaging…

Political observers have speculated that Graham is using Trump now to shore up support among the conservative base back home, where the president’s approval ratings remain high. With each ingratiating Graham tweet directed at Trump, South Carolina Republican voters nod in agreement.

But others have characterized this embrace of Trump as Graham having “sold his soul” — after all, this was the same senator who didn’t vote for Trump and called the then-presidential candidate unfit for office.

Critics also say Graham is now morally rudderless without the guiding hand of his best friend and resident Senate maverick John McCain, the Arizona Republican senator who died of brain cancer in August.