Maga supporters boo Lindsey Graham as Trump introduces him at South Carolina victory party

Senator Lindsey Graham was met with a hostile reception in his home state as he joined Donald Trump during his victory speech in South Carolina on Saturday night.

The former president called Senator Graham on stage after he was projected to be the winner of the South Carolina Republican presidential primary, beating his rival Nikki Haley in the state where she served as governor from 2011 to 2017.

Mr Trump took to the stage roughly 10 minutes after the close of polls and introduced the Republican senator, describing him as “a little bit further left than some people on this stage”.

“I always say, when I’m in trouble on the left, I call up Lindsey Graham and he straightens it out so fast,” he said, as loud boos erupted.

“No, no. Remember, I love him, he’s a good man,” said Mr Trump as he tried to calm the supporters. “Come up here Lindsey.”

“This is the most qualified man to be president of the United States,” Mr Graham said. “And let it be said that South Carolina created the biggest political comeback in American history.”

The former president was projected as winning the South Carolina contest at 7pm on Saturday night just as polls closed. With some 90 per cent of the vote counted he was on around 60 per cent, with Ms Haley trailing on 39.3 per cent.

It marks yet another defeat for former UN ambassador Haley, and a particularly painful one given it came in her home state where she had arguably spent most effort campaigning. She nonetheless vowed to continue fighting Mr Trump despite her many primary losses.

Ms Haley stayed resolute even after losing to the “none of these candidates” box listed on Nevada ballot papers earlier this month. Speaking to a group of supporters and journalists at her Charleston headquaters, Ms Haley said: “No matter what happens in South Carolina, I would continue to run.”

Meanwhile, the former president also thanked North Carolina Republican Party chair Michael Whatley, whom Mr Trump backed as the next Republican National Committee chair with his daughter-in-law Lara Trump as co-chair.

Audience members also booed when Mr Trump named South Carolina Republican Party chair Drew McKissick in his speech, after years of infighting in the state. Mr Trump seemed genuinely surprised at the reaction, according to Fox News, commenting that: “We have a highly opinionated group of people [here].”