Soon after Donald Trump sparked his latest all-consuming controversy, Lindsey Graham spoke to the president and urged him to rethink his willingness to use foreign opposition research against his political opponents.

“The law is pretty clear. You can’t take anything of value from a foreign government,” Graham said he told Trump. “He says, ‘I didn’t say I did.’ I said: ‘Sitting down and talking to somebody’s not a crime, but it’s probably not a good idea. … I don’t agree with you.’”

Asked whether Graham’s comment got through to the president, the South Carolina Republican replied: “He understands where I’m coming from.”

As a close Trump ally, Graham’s exchange punctuated the alarm that senior Republicans have with Trump’s comments that he’d likely take foreign dirt if offered and would “go maybe to the FBI, if I thought there was something wrong.”

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