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?”