Speaking with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic at The Atlantic Festival, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) had a blunt response for the audience when they booed him for defending Judge Brett Kavanaugh, telling the audience, “Yeah? Well, boo yourself.”
The two men were discussing the Kavanaugh hearings and President Trump’s remarks when the opportunity arose for Graham to fire back at his audience.
Graham started, “So President Trump went through a factual rendition that I didn’t particularly like and I would tell him, knock it off, you’re not helping. But it can be worse. You can actually kill somebody’s cat and puncture their tires to get ‘em to shut up.”
Goldberg, who either was unaware or deliberately oblivious regarding the history of the Clinton Administration, patronized, “I don’t even understand what that means,” drawing laughter from his equally ill-informed audience.
Graham educated him with a vengeance: “Well, you don’t remember Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick. I do.” Graham was referring to Willey’s recollection that just before she gave testimony in the Paula Jones case against Bill Clinton, three of the four tires on her car were flattened by a nail gun, and her cat, which had gone missing, was mentioned by someone she believed was threatening her. In an exchange Willey had with Sean Hannity of Fox News, there was this portion:
Hannity: I want to go back to this. On the eve of your testimony in the Paula Jones case, there was — you lost your cat. And there was somebody came up to you, a stranger, and mentioned...
Willey: He had run away, or he had — just turned up missing.
Hannity: Your cat did. But you ran into a stranger who mentioned the loss of your cat, and your cat's name, and your children by name.
Willey: I didn't run into him. He approached me one morning. He alluded to the fact. He alluded to my cat by name in the past tense. He said, "How is that — how is — he was a nice cat." He said, "That Bullseye was a nice cat."
Hannity: And that was a direct threat, you believe, on the eve of your testimony to let you know the cat's gone?
Willey: That was followed by — that was followed by, "How are your children?" And he named them by name. That was followed — that was followed by this naming of very dear friends to the children. That was fired by, "Did you ever get those tires fixed?" I had three out of four tires of my car flattened by a nail gun. He said — let me finish — he said, "You're just not getting the message, are you?" That was the threat to go in and lie under oath.
Goldberg condescended, “I don’t remember the thing about the cat. What’s the point? The point is that Donald Trump could have said something even worse so we should be thankful?”
Graham patiently answered, “The point is that we’ve come a long way. We’ve come a long way since 1998–“
Goldberg, eager to shift the conversation away from Bill Clinton and noticing his audience’s hostile reaction to Graham, tried to interrupt Graham by holding out his hand and repeating, “All right. All right. It’s fine. It’s fine. It’s fine.”
Graham was having none if it. He turned to the audience and said, “Now, wait a minute. Whether you like it or not, I don’t care. Here’s the point: I have seen what happened to these women. In 1998 they came forward. I don’t like what the president said last night. I’m the first person to say I want to hear from Dr. Ford. I thought she was handled respectfully. I thought Kavanaugh was treated like crap.”
When the audience booed him, Graham snapped, “Yeah? Well, boo yourself.”