- A journalist for Chinese state-run media criticized Sen. Lindsey Graham on Twitter.
- Graham responded, saying the journalist was a “mouthpiece” for the Chinese Communist Party.
- The journalist, Chen Weihua, has previously sent critical tweets about US lawmakers.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said being called a “clown” is “high praise,” at least when it comes from a journalist who works for state-run media in China.
Graham made the comment in response to a critical tweet sent by Chen Weihua, the European Union bureau chief for China Daily, an English-language newspaper owned by the Chinese Communist Party.
In response to a tweet about turbulence between Beijing and Graham, Chen said the South Carolina senator is a “clown” and that it was “puzzling” he is still in the “limelight” in US politics.
Graham retweeted him and wrote: “Speaking of clowns and jokes…have you heard the one where the Chinese Communist Party said China had nothing to do with starting Covid? Or how about the one about the Uigher population being given government sponsored ‘vacations’ and not being put in concentration camps?”
“Coming from a mouthpiece of the CCP, being called a “clown” is high praise indeed,” Graham continued.
—Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) April 16, 2022
Chen’s initial tweet was sent in response to a Reuters story about China conducting military drills around Taiwan after Graham and other US lawmakers met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.
Chen has gained attention in the past for going after US politicians on Twitter. In 2020, he called Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee “the most racist and ignorant US Senator I have seen” and “a lifetime bitch” for a comment she made about China.
There’s even an Instagram account called “Victims of Chen Weihua” that shares screenshots of critical or trolling tweets sent by Chen. It’s unclear who runs the account.
Representatives for Graham did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.