Senator Lindsey Graham was cut off from an interview with Fox News while encouraging viewers to donate to his re-election campaign in an awkward live television moment that quickly went viral.
Speaking to the network’s Laura Ingraham, the South Carolina senator was concluding his interview on Tuesday night when he began to plug his campaign site before he was abruptly cut off.
The anchor was ending the segment and thanking Mr Graham for taking the time to join her when he said: “Thank you very much — help me if you can.”
As the senator began calling on viewers to visit his campaign website, a show logo flashed over the screen and Ms Ingraham interjected, saying “alright” before moving on to the spot.
It was just the latest viral clip of Mr Graham pleading for cash while facing a tough race against his Democratic senatorial opponent, Jaime Harrison, who has broken fundraising records in his bid to unseat the Republican incumbent.
The senator was previously accused by Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of having “committed a crime in plain sight” when he pleaded for campaign donations during an intermission at the recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Donald Trump’s third appointment to the nation’s highest court.
Mr Graham, who serves as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters just outside of the hearing rooms at the time: “I think people in South Carolina are excited about Judge Barrett. I don’t know how much it affected fundraising today, but if you want to help me close the gap…I think the contest in South Carolina has taken on sort of a national profile.”
His comments were quickly the subject of scrutiny among legal experts and critics alike, who noted how it was illegal for elected officials to seek campaign donations inside of a federal building like the one where the senate confirmation hearings were taking place.
Mr Graham did end up raking in over $1 million in donations from the start of the confirmation hearings, which were televised and widely-viewed amid backlash of the Republican-led efforts to install a new Supreme Court justice days before the election and in total defiance of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish not to be replaced until a new president could assume the White House.
Polls have meanwhile shown Mr Graham and Mr Harrison in a close race, with the Democratic challenger closing in on the GOP incumbent in recent state surveys. More than 60 million Americans across the country have already cast ballots in the 2020 national elections.