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‘You Gotta Be Kidding Me, Senator’: Jesse Watters Mocks Lindsey Graham to His Face for Not Supporting Bill He Cosponsored

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) began a Fox News appearance with Jesse Watters with every intention of expressing his opposition to the RESTRICT Act, which has been marketed as a ban on the Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok.

But the path to achieving that objective was complicated when Watters informed him on-air that he was actually an official cosponsor of the bill. Prior to Graham’s arrival, Watters introduced the legislation as “the PATRIOT Act for the internet.”

“The federal government wants to watch everything you do on the internet. And I mean anything: Any transaction, any search, any click, any scroll,” declared Watters before calling it a “red flag” that “the bill doesn’t even say the word TikTok.”

Once Graham joined the program, Watters began the interview by noting his support for the bill. “You gotta be kidding me, senator. Did you read this?” he asked.

“Yeah, I don’t think I support the RESTRICT Act,” replied a confused but confident Graham.

“You don’t support this? Cause you were named as one of the supporters, cause this is garbage,” shot back Watters.

“Is this the one with Jo- There’s two bills out there. One allows a review of businesses that are connected to China, gives the secretary the ability to protect our data. Is that the RESTRICT Act?” inquired Graham.

“We got S. 686 right here, March 7, and we got a bunch of Republicans supporting it. Because this thing is crazytown. You don’t want the government looking into your private phone! If they have a hunch you’re colluding with the Russians? You remember how that turned out,” said Watters.

Graham had a long-winded reply indicating that he might not have an intimate understanding of the legislation:

Yeah, well no, the Constitution trumps a statute so let me come back and give you a better explanation. Here’s the probelm as I see it. China is the parent company of TikTok and my nieces like TikTok. I don’t mind them using TikTok, I just don’t want the Chinese government to seize all their data and manipulate the information Americans see for political purposes. China is helping drug cartels in Mexico. China is not a friend, Chinese espionage is at an all-time high against American business interests. So I want to push back against China, but within a constitutional framework, you’re right about that. So, you’ve made these allegations, and I’ll come answer better next time.

“Yeah, well I mean, cause, you’re listed as one of the cosponsors of this thing. Maybe it’s like [Senator John] Fetterman when your chief of staff does all your work for you,” the Fox host told a laughing Graham before instructing him to “Go back and talk to these other senators about this.”

“This thing is nuts and it’s gonna get abused like it always does, so we gotta clean this up,” he added.

Graham again admitted that he owed Americans a “better explanation” before defending legislation “[Senate Minority Whip] John Thune‘s got… to make sure the Secretary of commerce can deal with this, not just TikTok” but Chinese aggression more generally.

Thune is the lead Republican cosponsor of the RESTRICT Act, which he introduced alongside Senator Mark Warner (D-VA).

“Don’t push back on the United States’ citizens for something China’s doing,” implored Watters.

Graham expressed sympathy with Watters’ position, telling him “I totally get that and constitutionally we can’t do all of the things you just said, so let me get back with you, but just let me end with this-” before being cut off.

“Yeah get back with me because you cosponsored it two days ago, Senator,” interjected Watters.

Watch above via Fox News.

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