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Defeated Look Comes Over Lindsey Graham as Jesse Watters Reveals Truth About Bill He's Co-Sponsoring

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Fox News host Jesse Watters steamrolled Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina for co-sponsoring the RESTRICT Act, a bill that gives the federal government sweeping powers to spy on Americans under the guise of bolstering “national security.”

“You have got to be kidding me, senator. Did you read this?” Watters said Wednesday night on “Jesse Watters Primetime.”

Graham, who’s an attorney, said, “I don’t think I support the RESTRICT Act.”

A flabbergasted Watters pointed out that the senator is one of the bill’s co-sponsors.

“You don’t support this? Because you were named as one of the supporters,” he retorted. “Because this is garbage.”

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The senator seemed unsure about which bill the Fox News host was referencing.

Section 6 of the RESTRICT — an acronym for Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology — Act authorizes the secretary of commerce “to review and prohibit certain transactions between persons in the United States and foreign adversaries.”

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The proposed bill identifies “foreign adversaries” as Cuba, China, Venezuela, Russia, North Korea and Iran.

The language is so vague and broad that it gives the government unlimited power to spy on, restrict and punish communications between Americans and so-called foreign enemies of the United States.

While TikTok was not specifically named in the RESTRICT Act, the legislation was proposed as a way to limit the influence of the popular Chinese social media platform.

“This thing is Crazy Town!” Watters said. “You don’t want the government looking into your private phone [calls and texts] … if they have a ‘hunch’ that you’re ‘colluding’ with Russians. We remember how that turned out.”

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Graham admitted he was confused and said, “Let me come back and give you a better explanation.”

The senator then segued into a condemnation of TikTok and communist China.

“Here’s the problem as I see it: China is the parent company of TikTok, and my nieces like TikTok,” he said. “I don’t mind them using TikTok. I just don’t want the Chinese government to seize all their data and manipulate the information America sees 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.”

Graham went into damage control over his apparent befuddlement about his own stance on the RESTRICT Act.

“You made these allegations, and I’ll come answer better next time,” he said.

Watters suggested that the senator didn’t read the bill and instead rubber-stamped it at the behest of his congressional staffers.

“On Congress.gov you are listed as one of the co-sponsors,” he noted. “Maybe it’s like Fetterman, when your chief of staff does all your work for you.”

Freshman Democratic Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania suffered a stroke in May 2022 and has been hospitalized twice since taking office.

Watters urged Graham to reconsider his position on the RESTRICT Act amid mounting concern over its potential to be abused by the federal government against private citizens.

“You have got to go back and talk to the other senators about this,” the Fox News said. “This thing is nuts. And it’s going to get abused, like it always does. So we gotta clean this up. Can we clean this up?”

Graham stammered: “Well, yeah. I mean, No. 1, I owe you a better explanation than I’m giving you. John Thune has got a bill to make sure the Secretary of Commerce can deal with this, not just TikTok, but the general idea that China – we’re under attack by China. Now, that’s a fact.

“Chinese Communist Party is stealing American data. Espionage against American businesses is an all-time high, according to FBI … So, yeah. I’m definitely going to push back against China being able to steal your data, but I want to do it in a constitutionally sound manner.”

The senator conceded that the RESTRICT Act could become a slippery slope for government abuse.

“The problem is real with China, but the solution can be more damaging than the problem. … That’s what you’re telling me,” he said.

“Yeah, don’t push back on United States citizens for something China is doing,” Watters underscored.

“I totally get that,” Graham replied, before promising to get back to Watters with a clarification on his stance.

The senator was blasted on Twitter by people who were alarmed that he rubber-stamped a bill without considering its nefarious impact.

As his interview with Watters wound down, Graham said, “Let me get back with you.”

“Yeah, get back with me, because you co-sponsored it two days ago,” the Fox News host shot back.

“All right. See. Makes me look bad. I don’t know a better explanation,” the senator said. “My bad.”

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