"Can we move forward without President Trump? The answer is no," Mr Graham said on Fox News. "I've always liked Liz Cheney, but she's made the determination that the Republican party can't grow with President Trump. I've determined we can't grow without him."
The boot-licking admission from Mr Graham – long one of Mr Trump's most subservient sycophants – comes as an internal battle in the GOP rages over whether or not the party will support incumbent US Rep. Liz Cheney to remain in her conference chair position.
Ms Cheney has been outspoken in her insistence that the future of the Republican party must be one free of the influence of Mr Trump and his MAGA rhetoric.
"While embracing or ignoring Trump’s statements might seem attractive to some for fundraising and political purposes, that approach will do profound long-term damage to our party and our country. Trump has never expressed remorse or regret for the attack of Jan. 6 and now suggests that our elections, and our legal and constitutional system, cannot be trusted to do the will of the people," Ms Cheney wrote in The Washington Post on Thursday. "This is immensely harmful, especially as we now compete on the world stage against Communist China and its claims that democracy is a failed system."
Ms Cheney was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Mr Trump following the Capitol insurrection on 6 January.
In turn, Mr Trump has turned his crosshairs on Ms Cheney, throwing his full weight into campaigning against her 2022 re-election campaign, and supporting her ousting as the GOP's conference chair.
Following the former president's lead, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has also supported ousting Ms Cheney from the position, though he claims it has nothing to do with her criticism of Mr Trump.
Mr McCarthy told Fox & Friends this week that he had heard "from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message."
However, a hot mic picked up on him saying he has "had it with her" following the interview, casting doubt on his official justification.
Ms Cheney was not deterred from taking Mr McCarthy to task for his unwavering dedication to all things Trump.
"House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) left no doubt in his public remarks. On the floor of the House on Jan. 13, McCarthy said: 'The president bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding,'" she wrote in the op-ed. "Now, McCarthy has changed his story."
As for Mr Graham and his fears that the GOP has no future if Mr Trump is not at its helm, social media users took the opportunity to mock the senator.