Lindsey Graham's call for an investigation “is a bad attempt to distract from the reality of the impeachment inquiry that's going forward in the House.”

Sen. Chris Coons, of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined MSNBC’s Kasie DC to discuss Senator Lindsey Graham’s call for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and the 2020 presidential race.

“Every journalistic outlet that’s looked into it has said there’s nothing there, and for Lindsey Graham to do Trump’s dirty work and to create this fig leaf, this red herring of an investigation into Joe Biden and his son I think is going to tear apart the Judiciary Committee even further and will just be a circus or a side show that is a bad attempt to distract from the reality of the impeachment inquiry that’s going forward in the House.

“This latest decision, this choice to betray a decades-old friendship and a clear-eyed view of the truth I think is a really disappointing demonstration of just how much Senator Graham’s close relationship with President Trump has affected the core of who he is and his judgment,” said Coons.

What’s your reaction to Senator Graham’s call for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and Burisma?

Coons: I’m really struck by this. I know Senator Graham well. We have legislated together, traveled and worked together. We serve on two different committees together, and I agree with Vice President Biden’s comments that you played at the outset. I think he will come to regret this decision. I know that he’s under enormous pressure from the Trump White House. He’s up for re-election. He’s facing a primary, but that doesn’t justify abandoning a decades-old friendship and a commitment to the truth. These are groundless allegations. Every journalistic outlet that’s looked into it has said there’s nothing there, and for Lindsey Graham to do Trump’s dirty work and to create this fig leaf, this red herring of an investigation into Joe Biden and his son I think is going to tear apart the Judiciary Committee even further and will just be a circus or a side show that is a bad attempt to distract from the reality of the impeachment inquiry that’s going forward in the House.

Do you think Lindsey Graham of 2015 would have launched an investigation like this into Joe Biden?

Coons: Well, that interview showed you the heart of Lindsey Graham, someone who knows Joe Biden well, who knows his character and who knows his kindness and that he would turn on him so sharply I think suggests how corrosive Senator Graham’s close friendship with President Trump has been to his core values. Senator Graham, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has been a relentless, even ferocious, advocate for President Trump and his nominees. He still has been able to maintain some distance from President Trump’s decisions when he’s made bad decisions, for example, by abandoning our allies, the Kurds in Syria. Senator Graham stood up to him fairly publicly and forcefully. But, this latest decision, this choice to betray a decades-old friendship and a clear-eyed view of the truth I think is a really disappointing demonstration of just how much Senator Graham’s close relationship with President Trump has affected the core of who he is and his judgment.

You have Michael Bloomberg running now, essentially joining the presidential race as a sign really that the Democrats have yet to coalesce around Joe Biden. In the beginning, he felt that Joe Biden could carry this across the finish line-his entry would suggest otherwise. How do you see the field and Bloomberg’s entrance into it?

Coons: Well, I think Mayor Bloomberg is a very late entrant, and I think he will quickly discover that actually campaigning on the stump, going town to town to union halls and coffee klatches to small meetings and to large rallies in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina and Nevada is very challenging and is going to take a great deal of time, and he has very little time to do that. In poll after poll, both national and in these key early states and in the critical states to win the electoral college Joe Biden has come out on top in more polls than any other candidate. I recognize the polls have changed a little bit back and forth and up and down, but consistently for seven months Joe Biden has had a double-digit lead in South Carolina, a significant lead in Nevada, and for most of the last seven months has enjoyed a reliable lead in Iowa and New Hampshire. It may be that because of some recent hiccups as a result of an advertising surge by one candidate or another that Mayor Bloomberg sees a window. I’ve been on the stump with Joe Biden in Iowa and New Hampshire and campaigned for him in several other states. I just don’t see it. I don’t see the ground swell of middle Americans calling for another New York billionaire. I think they need and want someone who hears them, respects them, and can carry forward the voice of forgotten Americans, overlooked Americans, and those who want us to be stronger in the world and stronger and safer here at home. I certainly admire what Mayor Bloomberg has done to combat gun violence and climate change, but I think Joe Biden is a person who as a senator and vice president has a real record of taking progressive ideas and getting real things done.

What do you make of the upheaval at the Department of Defense, in particular on this issue involving Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher?

Coons: Well, I haven’t read into the details of Chief Petty Officer Gallagher’s disciplinary action, but from the earlier reporting on this show, it suggested that the Secretary of the Navy resigned rather than obeying what he believed was an illegal order. If so, that would I think show another moment of steel spine by military leaders. I think when former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis resigned in protest over President Trump’s really ill-considered betrayal of our Kurdish allies, that was another sign that in the senior ranks of our military, the ways in which President Trump does unconventional things like interfering in military justice proceedings has brought widespread concern among those who try to stay out of politics, but also try to keep our nation safe.