(National Sentinel) Re-transformation: By the time Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina threw his hat into the crowded field of GOP presidential contenders during the 2016 election cycle, most conservatives had long written him off as a committed RINO.

And that’s how he would govern if he were elected president, conservatives said. We’d seen him cross over to the Democrats on far too many occasions, especially when it came to the issue of immigration.

While he was never full-on in support of open borders, he would often side with Democrats who wanted to provide a ‘path to citizenship’ for illegal immigrants who had broken our laws to get into the country — a path that would give the party of the donkey millions of new supporters. It was an approach that earned him the nickname “Lindsey Grahamnesty.”

But in recent weeks we’ve seen a distinctly different Sen. Graham. He appears as though he’s regained his conservative bona fides. He’s no longer portraying himself as the squishy RINO he had become. He’s a staunch defender of POTUS Donald Trump. And he’s not giving an inch border security.

The turning point seems to have been the Justice Brett Kavanaugh hearings, which saw him launch into an epic condemnation of his Democratic colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee who had obviously conspired to derail Kavanaugh’s nominations by any means necessary, including destroying the man and his family.

Who can soon forget this:

Was it just a one-time show? Or was that a (re-)defining moment for Graham?

Judging by what defeated Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri said during an interview with NPR on Friday, we can deduce that the latter is true.

As the Washington Free Beacon reported, McCaskill said said she is irked that Democrats turned Republican senator Lindsey Graham (S.C.) into an enemy during those hearings.

“People have black armbands on around the Democratic caucus, because it feels like we’ve lost Lindsey Graham,” she said. “He is someone who was willing to step outside that bubble from time to time and really do the hard work on issues like immigration. We’re mourning right now because we fear he’s gone.”

Further evidence of just how deeply the Democratic deceit involving Kavanaugh affected Graham, he even traveled to Missouri to campaign against McCaskill on behalf of GOP Sen.-elect Josh Hawley — though in the past he never campaigned against an incumbent senator.

“I like Claire, but I love the country more,” he said after delivering remarks during a Hawley rally.

He also didn’t give her a free pass for not publicly piling on Kavanaugh during his confirmation battle, saying she is “somebody that quietly sits on the sidelines while the mob gathers.”

Graham’s also got a new reputation as the “Trump whisperer” — a nickname given to him by The Blaze‘s Pat Gray — because he has become an ardent defender of, and unofficial adviser to, POTUS Donald Trump after becoming one of the original #neverTrumpers during the 2016 election cycle.

“I regret that he didn’t have more time with President Trump,” Graham told The Associated Press in September after his longtime friend, the late Sen. John McCain, a vocal #neverTrumper, passed away from cancer.

The South Carolina Republican noted McCain was able to forgive his captors during the Vietnam War. “Who knows what would have happened over time?”

If nothing else, the re-transformation of Graham from a RINO back into a rock-solid conservative, especially on the issue of illegal immigration, is more proof that the Left destroys everything it touches, including long-standing relationships.

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