He has come a long way from August 2018 when he reflected, three days after McCain died, on his final conversations with the 2008 GOP presidential nominee and the bitter fights McCain had with Trump.
Graham had told reporters he would take that advice in dealing with Trump. “So I’m going to help him where I can, and not get sucked into all the other drama,” Graham said that day.
By that point, Graham had already begun his journey into Trump’s inner circle after initially serving as his highest-profile critic during the 2016 campaign (at a time when McCain said he would support Trump).
About two years ago, Graham started talking to some of Trump’s national security team, and the initial phase of becoming a presidential ally seemed to focus on trying to steer Trump’s isolationist instincts closer to the traditionally hawkish Republican positions favored by McCain.