Tag Archives: Graham

Senator Graham, close Trump ally, joins opponents to planned U.S. foreign aid cuts

Senator Graham, close Trump ally, joins opponents to planned U.S. foreign aid cutsSenator Lindsey Graham and Representative Hal Rogers urged President Donald Trump on Friday to drop planned “sweeping and indiscriminate” foreign aid cuts, joining a chorus of lawmakers opposing what they consider a bid to sidestep Trump’s own budget deal. Trump administration officials have said they are reviewing State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development spending with an eye to using a budget process known as “rescission” to slash some $ 4.3 billion in aid spending, defying Congress, which passed legislation – signed into law by Trump – backing such spending. “Not only do these cuts have the potential to undermine significant national security and anti-terrorism efforts of our diplomats and international partners overseas, but we fear such a rescission package could complicate the ability of the Administration and Congress to work constructively on future appropriations deals,” the two lawmakers said in a letter to Trump.



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Trump asks Lindsey Graham to help make new Iran nuclear deal, reports say

Trump asks Lindsey Graham to help make new Iran nuclear deal, reports sayDonald Trump’s administration wants Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina to help craft a new Iran nuclear deal after the president withdrew from his predecessor’s landmark legislation, according to a new report. Mr Trump’s administration has paired Middle East policy advisers with “outside actors” to field ideas for the new plan, the Daily Beast reported Thursday, quoting four sources. Mr Graham has taken a hard-line approach to the US-Iran conflict, calling Tehran a “provocative regime” and “an enemy of mankind” that “threatens the existence of the state of Israel”. “If you are not willing to take this enemy on, you will regret it,” the senator said after being briefed on escalating tensions between the two countries. Mr Graham and other US officials close to the president have hinted at a potential military conflict arising out of increasingly hostile activity near the Strait of Hormuz, where Iran has seized a British-flagged vessel and reportedly attacked two other tankers, according to US intelligence. Mr Graham told the Daily Beast in an interview this week he wanted Iran to sign an agreement saying it will not enrich and reprocess its nuclear fuel.The senator described the pledge he’d like Tehran to agree to as the “gold standard,” telling the news outlet: “I told the president: Put the 123 on the table with the Iranians. Make them say ‘no.’”“I think the Iranians will say no,” he added, “and I think that will force the Europeans’ hands.”The US State Department said in a statement it was “seeking a deal with Iran that comprehensively addresses the regime’s destabilizing behaviour—not just its nuclear program, but also its missile program, support for terrorist proxies, and malign regional behaviour.”“We want Iran to behave like a ‘normal nation,’” the statement added.



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Team Trump Turns to Lindsey Graham to Cut an Iran Deal

Team Trump Turns to Lindsey Graham to Cut an Iran DealWin McNamee/GettyPresident Donald Trump wants a new deal with Iran to replace the nuclear agreement he pulled out of, and he’s turning to one of his most hawkish confidants to help do it.Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is working in close coordination with senior Trump administration officials who focus on Middle East policy to find an alternative to the Obama administration’s Iran deal, four people with knowledge of the efforts tell The Daily Beast. Part of that effort includes fielding ideas from outside actors, including foreign officials, two of those sources said.Graham’s developing role in the Trump administration’s Iran strategy comes as the State Department, Department of Defense, and other government agencies try to manage the delicate relationship between Washington and Tehran. The two countries have engaged in tit-for-tat escalations over the last several months, feeding fears on Capitol Hill that the two countries are on a crash course that could likely end in a direct military conflict. The situation has worsened in recent weeks, with the Trump administration accusing Iran of attacking tankers in the Gulf of Hormuz, which it heavily patrols.Why Would Iran Start a Tanker War?Despite the growing tensions between the U.S. and Iran, the Trump administration and officials in Tehran have signaled they are willing to meet and negotiate with each other. But neither side is ready to take the plunge just yet. Iran policy experts, some of whom worked with the former Obama administration, said Tehran will not engage in talks about a revised nuclear deal unless the U.S. rolls back at least some of its sanctions on the country. And with the Treasury Department's recent sanctioning of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, the chances of negotiations moving forward anytime soon seem unlikely, those sources said. In the meantime, though, Trump administration officials, and now apparently Graham, are actively working to put together plans for a new nuclear deal. Graham has been one of the most outspoken senators on Iran. In June, following a classified briefing on tensions between Washington and Tehran, Graham said the U.S. was “closer” to a military confrontation.“This is a provocative regime that shoots its own people down in the street, that threatens the existence of the state of Israel. This is an enemy of mankind, and if you are not willing to take this enemy on, you will regret it,” Graham said.  Now, though, it appears Graham is keen on finding a new deal that the U.S. can bring to the negotiating table. It is unclear how far along the team is in crafting a proposal, but Graham did travel to Israel earlier this month to meet with officials about the situation with Iran.In an interview with The Daily Beast on Wednesday, Graham said he had spoken to Trump about his ideas for a new nuclear deal several times and that the president was contemplating them. The senator said the U.S. should ask the Iranian regime to agree to a so-called 123 Agreement—a key, legally binding commitment that requires countries doing nuclear deals with the U.S. to sign on to nonproliferation standards. The U.S. has entered into those agreements with more than 40 countries. “I told the president: Put the 123 on the table with the Iranians. Make them say ‘no,’” Graham told The Daily Beast. “I think the Iranians will say no. And I think that will force the Europeans’ hands.”The U.S. should also require Iran to sign on to the “gold standard,” a pledge not to enrich and reprocess nuclear fuel, Graham said. Enrichment and reprocessing are key steps on the way to a nuclear weapon.“If countries want to have their own nuclear industry, that’s fine. I’m not against that. But countries can do that without enrichment and reprocessing, without making their own fuel,” Graham said. “The problem the Trump administration has is, how do you make a flawed deal better? We need to extend a new deal that cannot be manipulated in the future. If the [State Department] has a better plan, then fine, but I think this is a good option.”Graham said all countries in the Middle East should agree to both 123 Agreements and the “gold standard.” “It’s reasonable for the entire region,” he said. “Except for Israel. I’m not talking about Israel. They’re in their own sort of… category.”Graham, too, wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal earlier this month with Gen. Jack Keane, a member of IP3, a firm that worked with Trump advisers to export U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. The senator said he wrote the opinion piece with Keane because the two had discussed the idea of proposing to Iran a 123 Agreement. Keane and IP3 have been pushing for a U.S. nuclear comeback by way of nuclear exports to the Middle East. “The U.S. could begin supplying fuel rods for nuclear reactors throughout the Arab world. Dozens of nations already operate under similar nuclear frameworks,” the op-ed said. “Under this proposal, Iran could become a legitimate nuclear-power nation with all the benefits of following international rules. But under no circumstances would it be permitted to enrich nuclear material for the purpose of building a weapon.”Asked about Graham’s work on Iran, the State Department said: “The U.S. is seeking a deal with Iran that comprehensively addresses the regime’s destabilizing behavior—not just its nuclear program, but also its missile program, support for terrorist proxies, and malign regional behavior,” a department spokesperson said in a statement. “We want Iran to behave like a ‘normal nation.’”Graham’s involvement comes at a time when Rand Paul, another Republican who regularly advises Trump, is working behind the scenes to influence the administration’s policy toward the Islamic Republic. The Kentucky senator proposed his own plan, first reported in Politico last month, to become a diplomatic emissary to Iran, with the president signing off on Paul’s mission. According to Politico, Paul personally made this pitch to Trump while playing a round of golf at the president’s club in Sterling, Virginia. Two sources with knowledge of the situation tell The Daily Beast that Paul had been warming Trump to the idea starting at least two weeks before they played that round of golf. Further, a spokesman for Paul said that the senator “has had multiple conversations with [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo on this issue” in recent weeks, including on the emissary proposal.When Trump and Paul were on that golf course together discussing Iran and diplomacy, Graham was there with them. However, the two Trump allies have vastly divergent approaches to the region.According to those who’ve spoken to the president about each senator, Trump has repeatedly joked about all the countries Graham wants the U.S. military to invade, and conversely has privately praised Paul as someone who “won’t let” America start “World War III.” It is unclear whether the president will even attempt to have the two men work together on Iran policy. When asked by The Daily Beast if he was coordinating with Paul on the issue, Graham chuckled and simply said, “No.” After an extended pause, he added, “I’m not sure what he’s doing.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Trump ally Lindsey Graham says president should 'admit climate change is real'

Trump ally Lindsey Graham says president should 'admit climate change is real'President Donald Trump often mocks the science of climate change but GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham is encouraging the president to accept and confront it.



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A Mississippi politician abides by the 'Billy Graham rule,' but his refusal to be alone with a woman other than his wife in a work setting could be illegal, according to an employment law expert

A Mississippi politician abides by the 'Billy Graham rule,' but his refusal to be alone with a woman other than his wife in a work setting could be illegal, according to an employment law expertAn employment law expert told INSIDER that state Rep. Robert Foster's refusal to be alone with a woman could violate anti-discrimination laws.



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Lindsey Graham blames press after Donald Trump causes UK ambassador’s resignation

Lindsey Graham blames press after Donald Trump causes UK ambassador’s resignationLindsey Graham blamed the press for Kim Darroch’s sudden resignation as the UK ambassador to the US shortly after Donald Trump angrily announced he would no longer work with the foreign official.Mr Darroch announced his resignation from the post on Wednesday morning after the president called him “pompous” and “stupid” in a series of tweets.The president’s Twitter attacks followed leaked memos that Mr Darroch sent to the US about Mr Trump, in which the UK ambassador described his administration as “uniquely dysfunctional” and “inept.”Announcing his resignation on Wednesday, Mr Darroch said it had become “impossible” to remain in the ambassador position after his public row with Mr Trump. Reports indicated that decision also had to do with Boris Johnson — the likely successor to Prime Minister Theresa May — and his failure to defend the ambassador amid his confrontation with the president. Mr Graham’s statement on the developments made no mention of the president’s quarrel with Mr Darroch, however. Rather, the Republican senator appeared to attack the press for covering the context within the leaked memos, describing the news cycle as “a good example of selective media coverage of an issue.”“Kim Darroch did an outstanding job as ambassador and sorry to see he has resigned his post,” Mr Graham tweeted on Wednesday.“He got a raw deal from press,” the senator added. Mr Graham then posted a screenshot of a reported leaked memo in which Mr Darroch seemingly wrote about the president’s shot at re-election: “Trump may emerge from the flames, battered but intact, like Schwarzenegger in the final scenes of the Terminator.” > Kim Darroch did an outstanding job as Ambassador and sorry to see he has resigned his post. > > He got a raw deal from press.> > — Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) > > July 10, 2019The ambassador “always understood the strength of President Trump,” he added, saying Mr Darroch “referred to [Trump] as the ‘Terminator’ who is indestructible and will most likely re-elected.”The president lambasted Mr Darroch after the leaks were published in global news outlets, telling reporters on Sunday: “The ambassador has not served the UK well, I can tell you that.”“We are not big fans of that man and he has not served the UK well,” he continued. “So I can understand it, and I can say things about him but I won’t bother.”Mr Trump then called the ambassador “wacky,” a “very stupid guy” and “a pompous fool” in a series of tweets.“Tell him the USA now has the best Economy & Military anywhere in the World, by far and they are both only getting bigger, better and stronger,” he wrote, adding, “Thank you, Mr. President!”



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Lindsey Graham advises Dems against impeachment: Learn from GOP’s mistakes

Lindsey Graham advises Dems against impeachment: Learn from GOP’s mistakes“By any reasonable standard, Mr. Mueller thoroughly investigated the Trump campaign,” said Graham. “Mr. “Mr. “Mr. I want Trump to win.” “There’s politics and there’s the rule of law,” continued Graham.



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Graham: Our laws are broken and we need a barrier

Graham: Our laws are broken and we need a barrierNew illegal immigrant numbers intensify border debate; South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham reacts on 'Hannity.'



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Trump 25th Amendment: Lindsey Graham vows to investigate 'bureaucratic coup' against president

Trump 25th Amendment: Lindsey Graham vows to investigate 'bureaucratic coup' against presidentA key ally of Donald Trump has decried alleged efforts by senior officials to depose the president as a “bureaucratic coup” and pledged to hold a congressional investigation. Republican senator Lindsey Graham said it was “stunning” the former acting director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, had admitted in a TV interview he had discussed invoking the 25th Amendment – which allows the cabinet to remove a president from office – with the deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein. “I know Rosenstein vehemently denied it but we’re going to get to the bottom of it.



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Graham asks FBI director for briefing on Roger Stone raid

Graham asks FBI director for briefing on Roger Stone raidWASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said Wednesday that he wants a briefing from the FBI on the tactics it used last week when agents arrested President Donald Trump's confidant Roger Stone as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.



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