Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who recently began floating the idea of running for the presidency, was caught on tape joking about how well white men would do if he won, CNN reported.
“I’ve tried to help you with your tax status,” Graham can be heard saying. “I’m sorry the government’s so f—ed up. If I get to be president, white men in male-only clubs are going to do great in my presidency.”
He can also be heard asking, “We got any Presbyterians here? We got any Baptists? They’re the ones that drink and don’t admit it.”
CNN said it obtained the audio from unidentified Democrats in South Carolina, who had received it from a person using an anonymous email address. The person who leaked the tape said Graham made the remarks at an “all-male club.”
Graham confirmed making the jokes during a meeting of a charitable group, the Hibernian Society of Charleston.
He said political figures there are encouraged “to be earthy, to make fun of yourself, to make fun of them. Then you say something serious and sit down. And if you talk over 20 minutes, they throw something at you.”
Graham said his joke about “male-only clubs” was a jab at the group’s membership policy, and his remark about Baptists is in line with regular jokes he makes before discussing religious freedom more seriously.
“I hope this doesn’t reflect poorly on the club,” Graham told CNN. “They are great guys.”
Earlier this month, Graham told the conservative Weekly Standard that he was considering running for the GOP’s presidential nomination.
“If I get through my general election, if nobody steps up in the presidential mix, if nobody’s out there talking — me and [Sen. John] McCain (R-AZ) have been talking,” Graham said. “I may just jump in to get to make these arguments.”
Shortly afterwards, Graham backed away from the remark in an interview with CNN.
“I know what it’s like to run for president. I’m running for Senate,” he said. “I know what it takes to put an organization together, to put the money together. I am nowhere near there. I’m all-in running for the Senate.”
Listen to Graham’s remarks, as posted by CNN, below.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that the Order is not affiliated with other Hibernian groups.
Trump impersonator hilariously previews the president’s Mount Rushmore speech
On Friday, musician and Trump impersonator J-L Cauvin posted a video satirically previewing the president's Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore.
"The Democrats want you to wear masks, but we don't need masks," said Cauvin, impersonating Trump's New York accent. "Everybody's feeling great — stop coughing! Everybody's feeling great. So healthy. Such great health."
"Democrats want to kill you and silence you," he continued.
He then delivered a parody rant against removing statues, which sources report Trump will make a central point of his speech. "Thomas Jefferson, that's another one they hate. Everyone makes mistakes, but he had African-American girlfriends!"
WATCH: Trump advisor trashes Dr. Fauci — while pushing coronavirus conspiracy theories
White House economic advisor Peter Navarro pushed several conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 pandemic as the administration attempts to deflect blame for America responding to coronavirus worse than any other developed country.
At one point in the interview, MSNBC's Ali Velshi had to ask, "What are you talking about?"
Navarro harshly criticized Dr. Tony Fauci, who is one of his colleagues in the administration.
And he tried to blame the "Chinese Communist Party" for the disease, saying "they spawned the virus, they hid virus, they sent hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationalists over here to seed and spread the virus before we knew."
‘Gaslighting on a massive scale’: Doctor warns Trump is lying us into a COVID disaster
On CNN Friday, Dr. Celine Grounder tore into President Donald Trump's ongoing falsehoods about the coronavirus pandemic.
"No matter how many times public health officials, especially like Anthony Fauci, speak the truth, what does it do, Doctor, when the president continues to lie to the public in face of a public health crisis?" asked anchor Kate Bolduan.
"This is gaslighting on an enormous scale, and means until people eventually get sick or their family members get sick, the communities hit hard, they won't believe it, and then it will be too late," said Grounder. "The problem is there's a lag period from the time that somebody's infected and starts to develop symptoms a couple days later. We don't see people get severely sick and need to be hospitalized and in ICUs until a week into disease, and talking about probably one to two weeks of lag time from the time somebody's exposed at least before you start to see hospitalizations and then another couple weeks before you start to see deaths."