Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday that the late Sen. John McCain’s staffers “took a piece of garbage and tried to go after Trump,” but he said McCain himself wasn’t involved in the shady business.

Mr. Graham said McCain handled things properly, taking the dossier to the FBI in late 2016. Mr. Graham said he encouraged his friend to do so.

But Mr. Graham says what happened after that was the problem.

“I know because John McCain showed me the dossier, and I told him the only thing I know to do with it — it could be a bunch of garbage, could be true, who knows — turn it over to somebody whose job it is to find these things out. And John McCain acted properly,” Mr. Graham said.

He added: “People in the McCain world did some things that were inappropriate but it was not John McCain.”

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Mr. Graham, a confidant of both the late senator and the president, said he chided Mr. Trump for his criticism of McCain during their time together this weekend.

“Senator McCain deserves better,” Mr. Graham said.

He said the president feels he was wronged by McCain and the handling of the dossier. Mr. Graham said he tried to convince the president that wasn’t McCain himself.

“Trump believes it was the McCain people who spread this. He’s right. There were some McCain people who took a piece of garbage and tried to go after Trump after the election,” he said.

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