Lindsey Graham

Graham Heaps Praise on Trump

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) enthusiastically praised President Trump for his foreign policy, “a continued departure from his sharp criticism of Trump during the 2016 race and even after the election,” Politico reports.

Said Graham: “I am like the happiest dude in America right now. We have got a president and a national security team that I’ve been dreaming of for eight years.”

Is This How You Get a Message to Trump?

First Read: “It’s not every day that you hear the phrase ‘f you’ from a sitting United States senator during a broadcast T.V. appearance, but that’s what we heard from Sen. Lindsey Graham on Meet the Press Sunday.”

CHUCK TODD: Do you think there’s a moral difference between the use of chemical weapons and barrel bombs?

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM: No, there’s a legal difference, not a moral difference. If you’re a mother, your baby is dead. But we do have treaties that we’ve signed all over the world saying we’re not going to let one nation use weapons of mass destruction. That’s what the chemical weapons treaty is all about. But I will say this. If you kill babies with conventional bombs, it’s still a moral outrage. Here’s what I think Assad’s telling Trump by flying from this base: “F you.” And I think he’s making a serious mistake. Because if you’re an adversary of the United States and you don’t worry about what Trump may do on any given day — then you’re crazy.

“Graham’s not someone who uses language casually when it comes to national security, and his wording certainly seemed intentional here. And it’s the kind of thing sure to get the attention of a president who’s famously attuned to TV commentary (and who’s also certainly aware of the buzz that can be earned for throwing some salty language around.) Which leads us to wonder: If you’re trying to get the attention of Donald Trump — especially amid the staff upheaval and palace intrigue we’ve been seeing in the West Wing — is a bit of Trump-like rhetorical bomb-throwing on T.V. now the most effective way to break through to him?”

Graham Says Flynn Asking for Immunity Is ‘Bizarre’

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) “expressed concern about former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s requests for immunity from prosecution over ongoing investigations into whether members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign had inappropriate contacts with Russian officials,” Politico reports.

Said Graham: “The whole situation with Gen. Flynn is a bit bizarre. He’s said in the past nobody asks for immunity unless they have committed a crime. I’m not so sure that’s true — as a lawyer I know that always that is not true. But the whole situation is really strange.”

Graham Wants to Require Disclosure of Tax Returns

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he wants all presidential candidates to be required by law to release their tax returns, starting in 2020, Politico reports.

Said Graham: “I think that prospectively what I’ll do is, any candidate running in 2020 needs to release their tax returns. You just make it a law.”

He then explained that the law would apply to Trump, “if he’s a candidate for president” in 2020.

Graham Says Trump Budget Is ‘Dead On Arrival’

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that President Trump’s first budget was “dead on arrival” and wouldn’t make it through Congress, The Hill reports.

Said Graham: “It’s not going to happen. It would be a disaster.”

New York Times: “Like many presidents before him, President Trump is pushing a bold budget proposal. But for a business executive used to getting his way, he is likely to find, as his predecessors did, that final budgets often bear little resemblance to the originals after being run through the shredder on Capitol Hill.”

Graham Calls for Punishing Russia and Trump Aides

Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that Russia and any ally of President Trump working with Russia “needs to pay a price” for their involvement in trying to influence the election in Trump’s favor, Politico reports.

Said Graham: “If it is true, it is very, very disturbing to me and Russia needs to pay a price when it comes to interfering in our democracy and other democracies. And any Trump person who was working with the Russians in an unacceptable way also needs to pay a price.”

Graham Says Silencing of Warren Was ‘Long Overdue’

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) supported the silencing of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on the Senate floor last night, CNN reports.

Said Graham: “The bottom line is, it was long overdue with her. I mean, she is clearly running for the nomination in 2020.”

He added: “The Democratic Party is being pushed really hard by the most extreme voices in their community, and they just don’t know how to handle it. If they empower her, then I think the Democratic Party is gonna lose way with the vast majority of the American people.”

McCain and Graham vs. Trump and Putin

“John McCain and Lindsey Graham have spent the past eight years chiding President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, sarcastically calling the president naïve when it comes to world affairs and regularly grilling his Cabinet members at congressional hearings. Now, it’s Donald Trump’s turn to be the target,” Politico reports.

“McCain and Graham, the maverick partners on an array of issues, will take the stage Thursday on the matter of cyberthreats to the United States broadly, and Russian interference in the U.S. election specifically. And, true to form, neither is likely to pull punches — never mind that a member of their own party who has repeatedly downplayed the notion that Russian meddling might have aided his campaign is about to be sworn in as president.”

The Hill: Five things to watch for in today’s hearings

Graham Says Trump Must Provide Proof of Voter Fraud

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) challenged Donald Trump to back up his unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud, Politico reports.

Said Graham: “If you really believe that millions of people voted illegally, you should have some proof. Because your voice is not just an ordinary voice.”

Meanwhile, USA Today reports Newt Gingrich also said Trump made a mistake by making the allegation.