Graham was interviewed by Mark Leibovich for a February 2019 article in The New York Times Magazine. Leibovich asked Graham how he became a prominent Trump supporter. Graham responded that he was attempting "to be relevant": "I've got an opportunity up here working with the president to get some really good outcomes for the country . . . I have never been called this much by a president in my life . . . He's asked me to do some things, and I’ve asked him to do some things in return. " Graham stated that he had been gaining more and more influence with Trump, and was now attempting to enter Trump's inner circle, where he would reach a level of influence on par with Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Graham also said that he had a "political marriage" with John McCain, but as for his relationship with Trump: "I personally like him. We play golf. He’s very nice to me. " Additionally, according to Leibovich, Graham said that his positive relationship with Trump was also to ensure that Graham would be re-elected to Senate in 2020.