Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Graham, Lindsey

  • U.S. Senator (R-SC)
  • 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate

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Lindsey Graham, the senior U.S. senator from South Carolina, is sometimes misleadingly characterized as a “maverick” for his bipartisan positions on domestic policy. But Graham is a staunch foreign policy hawk who promotes U.S. military intervention, especially in the Middle East, and often makes fear-mongering claims regarding purported threats to the United States.

Graham briefly ran as a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. In announcing his candidacy in June 2015, Graham employed characteristically hyperbolic rhetoric, declaring that “the world is exploding in terror and violence.”[1]He said that he wanted “to be president to defeat the enemies that are trying to kill us. Not just penalize them or criticize them or contain them, but defeat them.” A CNN commentator called Graham’s announcement speech an “apocalyptic vision.”[2]

Shortly after he withdrew from the race in December 2015, Graham endorsed Jeb Bush as the GOP presidential nominee, stating that Bush is “ready to be a commander-in-chief on Day One.” In his statement endorsing Bush, Graham also criticized Republican front-runner Donald Trump. “He’s saying things that make no sense,” Graham proclaimed.[3]

After the election, Graham announced he had voted for Evan McMullin, a marginal independent candidate.[4] By October 2017, however, Graham had changed his view about the new president. “I’m going to try to stay in a position where I can have input to the president,” Graham told the New York Times. “I can help him where I can, and he will call me up and pick my brain. Now, if you’re a United States senator, that’s a good place to find yourself. He’s very popular in my state. When I help him, it helps me back home. And I think it probably helps him to be able to do business with an old rival who’s seen as a deal maker.”[5]

Graham’s ambiguity concerning Trump has brought scrutiny from both the right and left. In response, Graham, in a June 2018 interview on CNN, angrily stated, “If you don’t like me working with President Trump to make the world a better place, I don’t give a shit.” Having criticized Trump’s relationship with Russian Vladimir Putin in the past, among other critical statements, Graham dug in to support Trump, saying, “I like the president. I trust him in terms of trying to do things that are big and matter. Here’s what I’ve got. I’ve got a relationship with the president at a time when I think he needs allies.”[6]

After Trump’s controversial private meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in July 2018, Graham (R-SC) commented that it was a “missed opportunity” to hold Russia accountable for meddling in U.S. affairs. This soft response stood in stark contrast to those of many of his Republican colleagues, like close friend and fellow hawk Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who said of Trump’s meeting and post-meeting press conference: “No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant.”

While a number of Trump’s policies clearly contradict Graham’s views, many others are very much in line with them. As journalist Joshua Keating observed, “Considering the stakes, Graham’s conspicuously chummy relationship and frequent golf outings with a president he once deemed a bigot’ and a ‘jackass’ make a lot of sense. … Graham is still getting a remarkable amount of what he wants out of this administration. If the price for that success is hanging out with Trump and defending his more unhinged statements, it’s a transaction Graham seems eager to make.”[7]

Graham is also an ardent supporter of Trump’s third national security adviser, John Bolton. Shortly after Bolton was appointed, Graham said of him,”I think he’s going to help the president shape policies that make us all safer. The era of leading from behind is over—John Bolton is a lead from the front kind of guy.”[8]

Iran and North Korea Hawk

In the summer of 2017, as Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were escalating a war of words that raised the specter of a military confrontation, Graham leapt at the opportunity to rattle his own saber and express his lack of concern about the dangers to civilians in other countries. Trump has “got to choose between homeland security and regional stability,” Graham argued. “Japan, South Korea, China would all be in the crosshairs of a war if we started one with North Korea. But if [North Korea gets] a missile they can hit California, maybe other parts of America. If there’s going to be a war to stop [Kim Jong Un], it will be over there. If thousands die, they’re going to die over there. They’re not going to die here. And [Trump’s] told me that to my face. That may be provocative, but not really. When you’re president of the United States, where does your allegiance lie? To the people of the United States.”[9]

Graham made his support for Trump’s approach even clearer in the ensuing days, telling a news show in South Carolina, “I think [Trump’s] trying to put China and North Korea on notice that the game has changed. President Trump is rejecting the doctrine of strategic patience which has failed for 25 years. He’s told me, and I think he’s gonna tell China and North Korea, that he’s not going to allow North Korea to develop a missile with a nuclear weapon on top that can hit America, that if he had to use military force to stop that from happening, he would. I think that’s the right call because we can’t live as a nation under the threat of nuclear attack from a crazy man in North Korea.”[10]

But as Trump began to veer away from tough talk and toward a new goal of a summit with Kim, Graham scrambled to balance his desire to flatter the president with his trademark tough-talking style. As it became clearer that Trump was sincere in his effort to secure a summit with Kim, Graham tweeted, “Donald Trump convinced North Korea and China he was serious about bringing about change. We’re not there yet, but if this happens, President Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.”[11]

But as the summit drew closer and debate over whether it was an appropriate decision grew—along with concern over Trump’s casual attitude toward preparing for the meeting—Graham started to sound alarmist tones more in keeping with his usual style, albeit tempered by his desire to keep the president happy with him.

Speaking on CBS’ Face the Nation, Graham said, “I would urge the president if he can negotiate an agreement with Kim Jong Un that he takes that agreement and sends it to the Senate. I think that would be a good thing to do. This is a historic opportunity. But if the past is any indication of the future, you’ve got to watch North Korea like a hawk. But I do believe they’re at the table because they see a different person in Donald Trump. And they believe if he had to Trump would use military force. China certainly believes that…I’d want U.S. troops to stay in South Korea to stabilize the region. China’s moving around. I want to stay close to our allies in Asia but if you had a peace treaty that ended the Korean War, you had a verifiable agreement where North Korea gave up their nuclear weapons and they really meant it and we could prove it, then I’d leave it up to the president if he wanted to reduce troops and send them somewhere else.”[12]

Just two days before the Trump-Kim summit, Graham touted the “need” for a military threat in dealing with North Korea, calling on Democrats to support his proposal for military force against North Korea. “If diplomacy fails, will you [Democrats] support my efforts to authorize the use of military force as a last resort to convince North Korea and China that things are going to be different this time?” Graham told ABC News. “Donald Trump is not going to capitulate, so there’s really only two options- peace or war…if diplomacy fails, as a last resort, Democrats and Republicans need to put the military option on the table or we’ll never get a good deal.”[13]

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), whose isolationist views frequently contradicted Graham’s militaristic worldview, condemned Graham’s call. “Lindsey Graham is a danger to the country by even proposing ideas like authorizing war with Korea,” Paul said on CNN. “That should be something that is seen as naive and seen as something that really serious people shouldn’t even really be discussing.”[14]

Graham praised Trump at every step of his violation of the nuclear deal with Iran. At first, he did not endorse the United States’ unilateral departure. At a September 2017 conference hosted by the Institute for the Study of War, Graham said, “I think the biggest mistake in the deal, quite honestly, was disconnecting the behavior of the regime and sanctions relief. They can be in technical compliance with their nuclear program, but to give them a bunch of money and to not make them change their destabilizing behavior is a huge mistake. But I don’t want to abandon the nuclear part of it unless we have a reason to because I know the world is invested in this deal.”[15]

That statement held several inaccuracies. In fact, the Iran deal left all sanctions that were not related to Iran’s nuclear program in place, so it actually preserved direct connections between sanctions and targeted Iranian policies which critics of the deal have blurred. Initially, the deal released Iranian funds in the U.S. which had been frozen due to the nuclear sanctions. Moreover, even the lifting of nuclear sanctions was to be done in a phased manner, not all at once, with some sanctions being lifted “after much longer periods of Iranian compliance.”[16]

Graham moved a step further after Trump declined to certify Iran’s compliance with the deal—despite the fact that there was no evidence on non-compliance and that Iran’s compliance had been certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency and attested to by members of Trump’s own cabinet—in October 2017.

Speaking on Face the Nation, Graham opined, “He’s fulfilling a campaign promise. This is a terrible deal. To those who said this deal would make Iran a better member of the family of nations, it was a miserable failure. He promised to tear it up, and decided not to tear it up, but decertify, which I think he’s right to do, and push the world and Congress to a get better deal before it’s too late.”[17]

When Trump announced the unilateral U.S. withdrawal of the deal, Graham fully reversed his tepid opposition to the move and stated, “I strongly support President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.  He made a strong and convincing case for this position. …The Trump Administration is serious about denuclearization and will not support weak deals with loopholes.  President Trump is not going to let the Iranians – or the North Koreans – have it both ways. He certainly isn’t going to repeat President Obama and Secretary Kerry’s mistakes.”[18]

Graham has long been a proponent of U.S. military action against Iran over the country’s nuclear enrichment program, which U.S. intelligence analysts have insisted has not been geared toward producing a nuclear weapon since at least 2007. Calling himself “skeptical” that diplomacy can repair relations between Washington and Tehran, Graham described “Iran’s quest for a nuclear weapon” as “the challenge of our time” in a March 2013 interview with the Washington Post’s neoconservative blogger Jennifer Rubin.[19]

In the interview, Graham described a series of Senate resolutions he was proposing to pressure the Obama administration into taking action against Iran. “First, you make the argument [that] containment is not a good idea,” he said, followed by an assurance that “If Israel acts in its own defense—even preemptively—we will support Israel economically, diplomatically, and politically.” Then, Graham concluded, “If the Iranians are still moving toward a nuclear capability then the next logical step would be to say, ‘Mr. President, here is force authorization.’”[20]

Ultimately, observed the blog Think Progress, “Graham and his colleagues are basically using a piecemeal approach in an effort to making (sic) going to war with Iran a more mainstream position.”[21]

At the Halifax Security Forum in November 2010, Graham surprised many in the audience with an open call for the United States to wage war on Iran’s entire military apparatus, not just its nuclear facilities. According to one report, Graham said the United States should “consider sinking the Iranian navy, destroying its air force, and delivering a decisive blow to the Revolutionary Guard.” According to the report, Graham’s call to “neuter the regime, destroy its ability to fight back, and hope Iranians will take a chance to take back their government…stunned many in the audience at the Halifax International Security forum.”[22]

Graham also made headlines in December 2014 after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and openly declaring Congress’ support for the Israeli leader’s position on Iran as opposed to President Obama’s diplomacy-based approach. After Netanyahu called for “more sanctions, and stronger sanctions” against Iran, Graham replied: “I’m here to tell you, Mr. Prime Minister, that the Congress will follow your lead.”[23]

Quipped one reporter: “What a remarkable thing to say to a foreign leader when he’s hosting you in his country, especially when the president of your own country is clearly not happy with that prime minister’s approach to this particular problem.”[24]

After Iran and six world powers including the United States struck a comprehensive nuclear deal in July 2015, Graham said that “he would break the Iran nuclear deal on his first day in the White House.”[25]He called the agreement a “disaster” and a “death sentence for Israel,” adding that the deal was the “biggest mistake any president of the United States could make.”[26]

A History of Hyperbole  

Graham stands out even among foreign policy hawks in Congress for his overstated and often wild comments regarding U.S. security and global affairs. A case in point were the comments he made after President Barack Obama delivered his 2014 state of the union address, during which the president re-iterated his opposition to imposing new sanctions on Iran during negotiations. Responding to the address, Graham said: “The world as I know was not remotely described by the president.” He added: “The world is literally about to blow up.”[27]

Earlier, in 2013, he took issue with Obama’s stated desire to end the “war on terror,” arguing that the “Middle East is going to blow up.”[28]

More recently, in an April 2018 appearance on Fox News, he responded to a host saying “These are critical issues in Iran and North Korea—we can’t just have a hawkish kill em’ all approach,” by stating with a grin, “Don’t underrate killing ’em all. That gets everybody’s attention.”[29]

Graham also employed hyperbolic language to characterize alleged threats from the “Islamic State” group in Iraq and Syria in 2014. In an August 2014 interview with Fox News, he stated, “This president needs to rise to the occasion before we all get killed back here at home.”[30]

Quipped Simon Maloy of Salon: “Here we are once again, with another existential threat to the United States looming in Lindsey Graham’s mind. And he’s once again helping to nurture an atmosphere of fear and panic in order to deepen the U.S. military commitment to the region.”[31]

After the January 2015 terrorist attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Graham again expressed alarm over the fate of the United States while lambasting President Obama for refusing to say the United States was in a “religious war.” “I have no idea why the president of the United States won’t call this a religious war. Our strategy to combat radical Islam is failing,” Graham told Fox News. “I’ve never been more worried about being hit at home, because the president’s worldview and strategy toward radical Islam is failing.”[32]

2016 Presidential Campaign Financing and Rhetoric

Graham’s 2016 presidential campaign was comprised largely of individuals who worked in the unsuccessful presidential campaigns of Sen. John McCain(R-AZ), a close Graham ally.[33]It was also supported by a Super PAC called “Security is Strength,” which received a “significant portion” of its donations from “defense contractors that stand to gain from Graham’s advocacy for greater military intervention around the world and increased defense spending.”[34]

According to the Intercept,billionaire Ron Perelman, who owns a military manufacturing company, gave Graham’s Super PAC $500,000 and the chief executive of General Electric, which is also a major defense contractor, donated $25,000 to Graham’s campaign.[35]Graham told USA Today: “If I were a defense contractor, I’d be big time for Lindsey Graham, because I’ve been forward-leaning on rebuilding our military.”[36]

Graham’s ultra-hawkish campaign platform was similar to those of numerous other 2016 GOP candidates, including Sen. Ted Cruz(R-TX) and Sen. Marco Rubio(R-FL). TheWashington Postreported that Graham had “little room to distinguish himself from a crop of fresher, better-funded hopefuls with similar talking points” and that he is “barely registering in public opinion polls.”[37]

At a dinner hosted by the National Rifle Association in May 2015, Graham said: “My goal is to make sure that we go after those bastards that are trying to kill us and everybody like us and make sure they feel the wrath of this country. That we dig them out and we kill them because there is no other substitute.”[38]

In May 2015, Graham spurred widespread ridicule for saying at an American Israel Public Affairs Committee(AIPAC) dinner that “everything that starts with ‘al’ in the Middle East is bad news.” Benjamin Soloway of Foreign Policysaid of Graham’s remarks: “The comment made no sense, the Internet was quick to point out, because ‘al’ is an Arabic definite article analogous to the English word ‘the.’ A number of English words with Arabic roots begin with ‘al’: albatross, alchemy, alcohol, alcove, alfalfa, algebra, algorithm, and others.” He added: “Graham was kidding, according to his spokesman. But his jokes tend to show just where he stands, even beyond a calculated disregard for political correctness.”[39]

Graham was mentioned in an April 2015 New York Times piece that examined why Republicans are “more fervently pro-Israel than ever.” The article linked such sentiment to being “partly a result of ideology, but also a product of a surge in donations and campaign spending on their behalf by a small group of wealthy donors.” The article revealed how Graham received $285,000 from “pro-Israel” donors during the 2014 midterm election, up from less than $100,000 in 2008.[40]

In an April 2015 interview with the Wall Street Journal, Graham spoke candidly about his intention to rely on “pro-Israel” funding to support his run for president. “If I put together a finance team that will make me financially competitive enough to stay in this thing … I may have the first all-Jewish cabinet in America because of the pro-Israel funding. Bottom line is, I’ve got a lot of support from the pro-Israel funding,” he told the Journal.[41]

LobeLogrebuked Graham’s comment: “Suggesting that ‘pro-Israel funding’ may determine his choice of cabinet secretaries (as well as his policies) may make even his potential benefactors squirm just a little bit in light of the purposes to which real anti-Semites who believe ‘Jewish money’ controls the U.S. government might put such a statement.”[42]

Pushing War

Graham and his allies have been at the forefront of congressional efforts to promote war in recent years, including in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Along with Sen. John McCain(R-AZ) and former Sen. Joe Lieberman(I-CT), Graham belonged to a trio of senators sometimes called the “three amigos” for their exceptionally hawkish views. “Their hawkish world views often placed them at odds with their respective parties,” noted the New York Times in 2012, “but together they secured a place at the center of every major foreign policy debate.”[43]

Graham and his “amigos” were among the earliest proponents of U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war. In August 2012, the trio penned an op-ed for the Washington Postclaiming that “U.S. reluctance to intervene in Syria” was “allowing this conflict to be longer and bloodier” and calling for the Obama administration to provide arms to Syrian opposition forces.[44]Earlier that year, Graham and McCain visited opposition fighters along the Syrian border in Turkey, issuing a joint statement that “Diplomacy with Assad has failed,” even as former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was attempting to negotiate a ceasefire.[45]

In June 2013, after the Obama administration announced that it would be increasing the “size and scope” of its assistance to the rebels to include weapons, Graham protested that further steps would be necessary. “AK-47s will not neutralize the advantage Assad has over the rebels,” Graham said. “We need to create a no-fly zone to neutralize Assad’s air power.”[46]

In an April 2015 interview with Yahoo News, Graham declared he would send as many as 10,000 U.S. ground forces into Syria along with forces from a “regional army” to overthrow the Assad government. “Assad has to go. We’re going to have to send some of our soldiers back into the Middle East,” he opined.  “I would integrate our forces within a regional army. There’s no other way to defend this nation than some of us being on the ground over there doing the fighting.”[47]

Graham has also been among the more stubborn supporters of continuing U.S. military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. In September 2012, Graham, Lieberman, and McCain issued a statement calling for “an immediate suspension of further U.S. troop withdrawals” from Afghanistan.[48]Previously, in April 2011, Graham came out against President Obama’s plan to draw down the remaining U.S. forces in Iraq by the year’s end. “If we’re not smart enough to work with the Iraqis to have 10,000 to 15,000 American troops in Iraq in 2012,” he said, “Iraq could go to hell.”[49]

Graham has occasionally run afoul of civil libertarians by endorsing expansive government powers during “wartime.” A supporter of the Obama administration’s warrantless surveillance of American citizens’ “metadata” and online communications, Graham told a reporter in June 2013, “If I thought censoring the mail was necessary, I would suggest it.”[50]Referring to Republican critics of the program, Graham mused, “I just don’t see how anybody gets elected as a Republican” by running “left of Obama on national security.”[51]

“Give Graham credit for consistency,” quipped a writer for the American Conservative. “Unlike other Republican opportunists, he wants Barack Obama to exercise the same untrammeled executive powers he believes belonged to George W. Bush. No matter who the commander-in-chief is, he says America is a battlefield.”[52]

“Maverick”

Despite his unyielding hawkishness, Graham has cultivated a “maverick” reputation by periodically partnering with Democrats on domestic issues, though he has often tacked back to the right after encountering criticism from his Republican base.

A longtime Republican backer of immigration reform, for example, Graham said in June 2013 that it “really doesn’t matter” which Republican runs for president in 2016 “if we don’t pass immigration reform,” since “we’re in a demographic death spiral as a party.”[53]On other occasions, however, Graham has echoed far-right talking points on immigration, charging in 2010 that immigrant mothers “come here to drop a child” and proposing a constitutional amendment to ban birthright citizenship.[54]

Similarly, Graham briefly supported legislation to curb U.S. carbon emissions in early 2010. That summer, however, Graham told reporters that “The science about global warming has changed. … I think they’ve oversold this stuff, quite frankly. I think they’ve been alarmist and the science is in question. The whole movement has taken a giant step backward.”[55]

Graham served four terms in the U.S. House before being elected to the Senate in 2002. Prior to his political career, he served as a military lawyer in the U.S. Air Force; he remains a reservist in the Air National Guard.[56] He sits on the board of directors for the International Republican Institute and previously advised the right-wing Atlantic Bridge project.

SOURCES

[1]Stephen Collinson, “Forget hope and change. Lindsey Graham is running on doom and gloom,” CNN, June 3, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/03/politics/lindsey-graham-elections-2016-terror/.

[2]Stephen Collinson, “Forget hope and change. Lindsey Graham is running on doom and gloom,” CNN, June 3, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/03/politics/lindsey-graham-elections-2016-terror/.

[3]Alex Isenstadt, “Lindsey Graham endorses Jeb Bush for president,” Politico, January 15, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/01/lindsey-graham-to-endorse-jeb-bush-for-president-217838.

[4]Amy B. Wang, “Sen. Lindsey Graham: ‘I voted Evan McMullin for president,’” Washington Post, November 8, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2016/live-updates/general-election/real-time-updates-on-the-2016-election-voting-and-race-results/sen-lindsey-graham-i-voted-evan-mcmullin-for-president/?utm_term=.384743f48a95

[5]Michael D. Shear and Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “As Other Republican Senators Bolt, Lindsey Graham Cozies Up to Trump,” New York Times, October 26, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/26/us/politics/trump-lindsey-graham-best-friends.html

[6]Stephanie Murray, “Sen. Lindsey Graham doesn't give a 'sh--' if you don't like him working with Trump,” Politico, June 15, 2018, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/15/lindsey-graham-work-with-trump-649077

[7]Joshua Keating, “The Graham Doctrine,” Slate, January 17, 2018, https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/01/why-lindsey-graham-has-come-around-on-trump.html

[8]Tim Haines, “Lindsey Graham: John Bolton's World View ‘Will Make Us Safer,’” Real Clear Politics, March 23, 2018, https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/03/23/lindsey_graham_john_boltons_world_view_will_make_us_safer.html

[9]Uri Friedman, “Lindsey Graham Reveals the Dark Calculus of Striking North Korea,” The Atlantic, August 1, 2017, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/08/lindsey-graham-north-korea/535578/

[10]WTLX, “'If We Have to, We'll Go to War,' Lindsey Graham Says About North Korea,” August 10. 2017, https://www.wltx.com/article/news/local/if-we-have-to-well-go-to-war-lindsey-graham-says-about-north-korea/101-463441013

[11]Lindsey Graham, Twitter, April 27, 2018, https://twitter.com/lindseygrahamsc/status/989858702982344705?lang=en

[12]“Transcript: Sen. Lindsey Graham on "Face the Nation," May 13, 2018,” Face The Nation, May 13, 2018, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/transcript-sen-lindsey-graham-on-face-the-nation-may-13-2018/

[13]Paul LeBlanc, “Lindsey Graham to democrats: Either Peace or War With North Korea,” Newsweek, June 10, 2018, http://www.newsweek.com/lindsey-graham-peace-or-war-north-korea-donald-trump-democrats-968685

[14]Veronica Stracqualursi and Dana Bash, “Rand Paul calls Lindsey Graham 'a danger' for floating military use authorization for North Korea,” CNN, June 11, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/11/politics/rand-paul-lindsey-graham-cnntv/index.html

[15]Natalie Johnson, “Lindsey Graham Calls on Trump to Renegotiate Iran Deal, Rather Than Scrap It,” Washington Free Beacon, September 26, 2017, http://freebeacon.com/national-security/lindsey-graham-calls-trump-renegotiate-iran-deal-rather-scrap/

[16]Mitchell Plitnick, “Correcting the Critics of the Iran Nuclear Deal,” Foundation for Middle East Peace, July 22, 2015, https://fmep.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Correcting-the-Critics-of-the-Iran-Nuclear-Deal-final.pdf

[17]Josh Siegel, “Lindsey Graham praises Trump for decertifying 'terrible' Iran nuclear deal,” Washington Examiner, October 15, 2017, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/lindsey-graham-praises-trump-for-decertifying-terrible-iran-nuclear-deal

[18]Lindsey Graham, “Graham Statement On President Trump's Decision To Withdraw From The Iran Deal,” Press Release, May 8, 2018, https://www.lgraham.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2018/5/graham-statement-on-president-trump-s-decision-to-withdraw-from-the-iran-deal

[19]Jennifer Rubin, "Graham previews his Iran resolutions, including force authorization," Washington Post, March 4, 2013, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2013/03/04/graham-previews-his-iran-resolutions-including-force-authorization/.

[20]Jennifer Rubin, "Graham previews his Iran resolutions, including force authorization," Washington Post, March 4, 2013, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2013/03/04/graham-previews-his-iran-resolutions-including-force-authorization/.

[21]Think Progress, "National Security Brief: GOP Senator Says Iran Resolutions Meant To ‘Build A Case’ For War Authorization," March 5, 2013, http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/03/05/1673151/national-security-brief-graham-iran-war-authorization/.

[22]Associated Press, "Lindsey Graham Makes The Case For Strike On Iran," Huffington Post, November 6, 2010, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/06/lindsey-graham-calls-for-strike-on-iran_n_779997.html.

[23]Jim Lobe, “Lindsey Graham Says Congress Will ‘Follow [Bibi’s] Lead,’” LobeLog, December 28, 2014, http://www.lobelog.com/lindsey-graham-says-congress-will-follow-bibis-lead/.

[24]Jim Lobe, “Lindsey Graham Says Congress Will ‘Follow [Bibi’s] Lead,’” LobeLog, December 28, 2014, http://www.lobelog.com/lindsey-graham-says-congress-will-follow-bibis-lead/.

[25]NPR, “Sen. Lindsey Graham: Nuclear Deal With Iran “Has to Include Their Behavior,’” July 15, 2015, http://www.npr.org/2015/07/15/423263343/sen-lindsey-graham-nuclear-deal-with-iran-has-to-include-their-behavior.

[26]Chris Villani, “Lindsey Graham: Iran nuclear deal a ‘disaster,’” Boston Herald, July 14, 2015, https://www.bostonherald.com/news_opinion/us_politics/2015/07/lindsey_graham_iran_nuclear_deal_a_disaster.

[27]Niels Lesniewski, “Graham Says World ‘Literally About to Blow Up’,” Roll Call, January 28, 2014, http://blogs.rollcall.com/wgdb/graham-says-world-literally-about-to-blow-up/.

[28]Igor Bobic, “Graham To Obama: Global War On Terror Isn't Over,” Talking Points Memo, May 23, 2013, http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/graham-to-obama-global-war-on-terror-isn-t-over.

[29]Caleb Ecarma, “Lindsey Graham Jokes About U.S. Response to Iran: ‘Don’t Underrate Killing Them All,’” Mediaite, April 30, 2018, https://www.mediaite.com/tv/lindsey-graham-jokes-about-u-s-response-to-iran-dont-underrate-killing-them-all/

[30]Simon Maloy, “America’s most terrified senator: Lindsey Graham’s never-ending doomsday visions,” Salon, September 15, 2014,http://www.salon.com/2014/09/15/americas_most_terrified_senator_lindsey_grahams_never_ending_doomsday_visions/.

[31]Simon Maloy, “America’s most terrified senator: Lindsey Graham’s never-ending doomsday visions,” Salon, September 15, 2014, http://www.salon.com/2014/09/15/americas_most_terrified_senator_lindsey_grahams_never_ending_doomsday_visions/.

[32]Fox News Insider, “Graham on Terror Threat: 'I've Never Been More Worried About Being Hit at Home,’” January 11, 2015, http://insider.foxnews.com/2015/01/11/ive-never-been-more-worried-about-being-hit-home-sen-lindsey-graham-slams-president.

[33]Sean Sullivan and Jose DelReal, “Graham brings hawkish views, and feud with Paul, to campaign,” The Washington Post, June 1, 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/now-the-senates-biggest-feud-is-hitting-the-presidential-campaign-trail/2015/06/01/ba3de11a-0886-11e5-a7ad-b430fc1d3f5c_story.html?wpisrc=nl_politics&wpmm=1.

[34]Lee Fang, “Senator Lindsey Graham’s Pro-War Super PAC Bankrolled by Defense Contractors,” The Intercept, July 30, 2015, https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/07/30/senator-lindsey-grahams-pro-war-super-pac-bankrolled-defense-contractors/.

[35]Lee Fang, “Senator Lindsey Graham’s Pro-War Super PAC Bankrolled by Defense Contractors,” The Intercept, July 30, 2015, https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/07/30/senator-lindsey-grahams-pro-war-super-pac-bankrolled-defense-contractors/.

[36]Lee Fang, “Senator Lindsey Graham’s Pro-War Super PAC Bankrolled by Defense Contractors,” The Intercept, July 30, 2015, https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/07/30/senator-lindsey-grahams-pro-war-super-pac-bankrolled-defense-contractors/.

[37]Sean Sullivan and Jose DelReal, “Graham brings hawkish views, and feud with Paul, to campaign,” The Washington Post, June 1, 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/now-the-senates-biggest-feud-is-hitting-the-presidential-campaign-trail/2015/06/01/ba3de11a-0886-11e5-a7ad-b430fc1d3f5c_story.html?wpisrc=nl_politics&wpmm=1.

[38]Seth McLaughlin, “Lindsey Graham: ‘We are at war’ and must kill Islamic extremists,” Washington Times, April 10, 2015, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/apr/10/lindsey-graham-we-are-at-war-and-must-kill-islamic/.

[39]Benjamin Soloway, “Lindsey Graham al-Most knows Arabic,” Foreign Policy, May 5, 2015, http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/05/05/lindsey-graham-al-most-knows-arabic/.

[40]Eric Lipton, “G.OP.’s Israel Support Deepens as Political Contributions Shift,” The New York Times, April 4, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/us/politics/gops-israel-support-deepens-as-political-contributions-shift.html?smid=pl-share&_r=0.

[41]Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe, “Lindsey Graham’s “all-Jewish Cabinet,” LobeLog, April 20, 2015, http://www.lobelog.com/lindsey-grahams-all-jewish-cabinet/.

[42]Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe, “Lindsey Graham’s “all-Jewish Cabinet,” LobeLog, April 20, 2015, http://www.lobelog.com/lindsey-grahams-all-jewish-cabinet/.

[43]Jennifer Steinhauer, "Foreign Policy’s Bipartisan Trio Becomes Republican Duo," New York Times, November 26, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/27/us/politics/liebermans-retirement-is-end-of-three-amigos.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.

[44]John McCain, Joseph I. Lieberman and Lindsey O. Graham, “The risks of inaction in Syria,” Washington Post, August 5, 2012, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/mccain-lieberman-and-graham-the-risks-of-inaction-in-syria/2012/08/05/4a63585c-dd91-11e1-8e43-4a3c4375504a_story.html.

[45]Josh Rogin, “McCain and Lieberman meet with the Free Syria Army,” Foreign Policy “The Cable” blog, April 10, 2012, http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/04/10/mccain_and_lieberman_meet_with_the_free_syria_army.

[46]Brian Hughes, " Sen. Lindsey Graham rips Obama on Syria," Washington Examiner, June 16, 2013, http://washingtonexaminer.com/sen.-graham-rips-obama-on-syria/article/2531957.

[47]Rick Newman, “Sen. Lindsey Graham, Send U.S. troops to topple Assad,” Yahoo News, April 27, 2015, http://finance.yahoo.com/news/sen--lindsey-graham--send-u-s--troops-to-topple-assad-234303507.html.

[48]Lindsey Graham Press Release, "Graham, McCain, Lieberman Statement on Afghanistan," September 19, 2012, http://www.lgraham.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressRoom.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=dedfe283-802a-23ad-4554-c6b33f68e619.

[49]Robert Burns/Associated Press, "Pentagon Has Second Thoughts About U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Iraq," CNS News, April 11, 2011, http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/pentagon-has-second-thoughts-about-us-troop-withdrawal-iraq.

[50]Chris Moody, " Lindsey Graham: ‘If I thought censoring the mail was necessary, I would suggest it,’" Yahoo News, June 11, 2013, http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/lindsey-graham-thought-censoring-mail-necessary-suggest-182932835.html.

[51]Associated Press, "Lindsey Graham: Republicans Attacking Surveillance Program 'Marginal' Figures in Party," Newsmax, June 12, 2013, http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/NSA-Surveillance-Politics/2013/06/12/id/509417.

[52]W. James Antle III, " Civil Liberties: A GOP Civil War?" American Conservative, June 10, 2013, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/civil-liberties-a-gop-civil-war/.

[53]Igor Volsky, "Lindsey Graham Warns GOP: 'It Doesn't Matter Who We Run In 2016' If Immigration Reform Fails," Think Progress, June 16, 2013, http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2013/06/16/2165161/lindsey-graham-warns-gop-it-doesnt-matter-who-we-run-in-2016-if-immigration-reform-fails/.

[54]Julia Preston, "Births to Illegal Immigrants Are Studied," New York Times, August 11, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/12/us/12babies.html.

[55]Kate Sheppard, "Lindsey Graham Said What About Climate Change?" Mother Jones, June 9, 2010, http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2010/06/graham-takes-climate-denial-plunge.

[56]Lindsey Graham Senate bio, http://www.lgraham.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=AboutSenatorGraham.Biography.

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Sources

[1] Stephen Collinson, “Forget hope and change. Lindsey Graham is running on doom and gloom,” CNN, June 3, 2015,http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/03/politics/lindsey-graham-elections-2016-terror/.

[2] Stephen Collinson, “Forget hope and change. Lindsey Graham is running on doom and gloom,” CNN, June 3, 2015,http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/03/politics/lindsey-graham-elections-2016-terror/.

[3] Politico, “Graham: Choice between Trump, Cruz like ‘being shot or poisoned,'”Politico, January 21, 2016.

[4] Niels Lesniewski, “Graham Says World ‘Literally About to Blow Up’,” Roll Call, January 28, 2014,http://blogs.rollcall.com/wgdb/graham-says-world-literally-about-to-blow-up/.

[5] Igor Bobic, “Graham To Obama: Global War On Terror Isn’t Over,” Talking Points Memo, May 23, 2013,http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/graham-to-obama-global-war-on-terror-isn-t-over.

[6] Simon Maloy, “America’s most terrified senator: Lindsey Graham’s never-ending doomsday visions,” Salon, September 15, 2014,http://www.salon.com/2014/09/15/americas_most_terrified_senator_lindsey_grahams_never_ending_doomsday_visions/.

[7] Simon Maloy, “America’s most terrified senator: Lindsey Graham’s never-ending doomsday visions,” Salon, September 15, 2014,http://www.salon.com/2014/09/15/americas_most_terrified_senator_lindsey_grahams_never_ending_doomsday_visions/.

[8] Fox News Insider, “Graham on Terror Threat: ‘I’ve Never Been More Worried About Being Hit at Home,’” January 11, 2015, http://insider.foxnews.com/2015/01/11/ive-never-been-more-worried-about-being-hit-home-sen-lindsey-graham-slams-president.

[9] Sean Sullivan and Jose DelReal, “Graham brings hawkish views, and feud with Paul, to campaign,” The Washington Post, June 1, 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/now-the-senates-biggest-feud-is-hitting-the-presidential-campaign-trail/2015/06/01/ba3de11a-0886-11e5-a7ad-b430fc1d3f5c_story.html?wpisrc=nl_politics&wpmm=1.

[10] Lee Fang, “Senator Lindsey Graham’s Pro-War Super PAC Bankrolled by Defense Contractors,” The Intercept, July 30, 2015, https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/07/30/senator-lindsey-grahams-pro-war-super-pac-bankrolled-defense-contractors/.

[11] Lee Fang, “Senator Lindsey Graham’s Pro-War Super PAC Bankrolled by Defense Contractors,” The Intercept, July 30, 2015, https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/07/30/senator-lindsey-grahams-pro-war-super-pac-bankrolled-defense-contractors/.

[12] Lee Fang, “Senator Lindsey Graham’s Pro-War Super PAC Bankrolled by Defense Contractors,” The Intercept, July 30, 2015, https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/07/30/senator-lindsey-grahams-pro-war-super-pac-bankrolled-defense-contractors/.

[13] Sean Sullivan and Jose DelReal, “Graham brings hawkish views, and feud with Paul, to campaign,” The Washington Post, June 1, 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/now-the-senates-biggest-feud-is-hitting-the-presidential-campaign-trail/2015/06/01/ba3de11a-0886-11e5-a7ad-b430fc1d3f5c_story.html?wpisrc=nl_politics&wpmm=1.

[14] Seth McLaughlin, “Lindsey Graham: ‘We are at war’ and must kill Islamic extremists,” Washington Times, April 10, 2015, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/apr/10/lindsey-graham-we-are-at-war-and-must-kill-islamic/.

[15] Benjamin Soloway, “Lindsey Graham al-Most knows Arabic,” Foreign Policy, May 5, 2015,http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/05/05/lindsey-graham-al-most-knows-arabic/.

[16] Eric Lipton, “G.OP.’s Israel Support Deepens as Political Contributions Shift,” The New York Times, April 4, 2015,http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/us/politics/gops-israel-support-deepens-as-political-contributions-shift.html?smid=pl-share&_r=0.

[17] Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe, “Lindsey Graham’s “all-Jewish Cabinet,” LobeLog, April 20, 2015,http://www.lobelog.com/lindsey-grahams-all-jewish-cabinet/.

[18] Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe, “Lindsey Graham’s “all-Jewish Cabinet,” LobeLog, April 20, 2015,http://www.lobelog.com/lindsey-grahams-all-jewish-cabinet/.

[19] Jennifer Rubin, “Graham previews his Iran resolutions, including force authorization,” Washington Post, March 4, 2013, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2013/03/04/graham-previews-his-iran-resolutions-including-force-authorization/.

[20] Jennifer Rubin, “Graham previews his Iran resolutions, including force authorization,” Washington Post, March 4, 2013, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2013/03/04/graham-previews-his-iran-resolutions-including-force-authorization/.

[21] Think Progress, “National Security Brief: GOP Senator Says Iran Resolutions Meant To ‘Build A Case’ For War Authorization,” March 5, 2013, http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/03/05/1673151/national-security-brief-graham-iran-war-authorization/.

[22] Associated Press, “Lindsey Graham Makes The Case For Strike On Iran,” Huffington Post, November 6, 2010,http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/06/lindsey-graham-calls-for-strike-on-iran_n_779997.html.

[23] Jim Lobe, “Lindsey Graham Says Congress Will ‘Follow [Bibi’s] Lead,’” LobeLog, December 28, 2014,http://www.lobelog.com/lindsey-graham-says-congress-will-follow-bibis-lead/.

[24] Jim Lobe, “Lindsey Graham Says Congress Will ‘Follow [Bibi’s] Lead,’” LobeLog, December 28, 2014,http://www.lobelog.com/lindsey-graham-says-congress-will-follow-bibis-lead/.

[25] NPR, “Sen. Lindsey Graham: Nuclear Deal With Iran “Has to Include Their Behavior,’” July 15, 2015,http://www.npr.org/2015/07/15/423263343/sen-lindsey-graham-nuclear-deal-with-iran-has-to-include-their-behavior.

[26] Chris Villani, “Lindsey Graham: Iran nuclear deal a ‘disaster,’” Boston Herald, July 14, 2015,https://www.bostonherald.com/news_opinion/us_politics/2015/07/lindsey_graham_iran_nuclear_deal_a_disaster.

[27] Jennifer Steinhauer, “Foreign Policy’s Bipartisan Trio Becomes Republican Duo,” New York Times, November 26, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/27/us/politics/liebermans-retirement-is-end-of-three-amigos.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.

[28] John McCain, Joseph I. Lieberman and Lindsey O. Graham, “The risks of inaction in Syria,” Washington Post, August 5, 2012, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/mccain-lieberman-and-graham-the-risks-of-inaction-in-syria/2012/08/05/4a63585c-dd91-11e1-8e43-4a3c4375504a_story.html.

[29] Josh Rogin, “McCain and Lieberman meet with the Free Syria Army,” Foreign Policy “The Cable” blog, April 10, 2012,http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/04/10/mccain_and_lieberman_meet_with_the_free_syria_army.

[30] Brian Hughes, ” Sen. Lindsey Graham rips Obama on Syria,” Washington Examiner, June 16, 2013,http://washingtonexaminer.com/sen.-graham-rips-obama-on-syria/article/2531957.

[31] Rick Newman, “Sen. Lindsey Graham, Send U.S. troops to topple Assad,” Yahoo News, April 27, 2015,http://finance.yahoo.com/news/sen–lindsey-graham–send-u-s–troops-to-topple-assad-234303507.html.

[32] Lindsey Graham Press Release, “Graham, McCain, Lieberman Statement on Afghanistan,” September 19, 2012,http://www.lgraham.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressRoom.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=dedfe283-802a-23ad-4554-c6b33f68e619.

[33] Robert Burns/Associated Press, “Pentagon Has Second Thoughts About U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Iraq,” CNS News, April 11, 2011, http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/pentagon-has-second-thoughts-about-us-troop-withdrawal-iraq.

[34] Chris Moody, ” Lindsey Graham: ‘If I thought censoring the mail was necessary, I would suggest it,’” Yahoo News, June 11, 2013, http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/lindsey-graham-thought-censoring-mail-necessary-suggest-182932835.html.

[35] Associated Press, “Lindsey Graham: Republicans Attacking Surveillance Program ‘Marginal’ Figures in Party,” Newsmax, June 12, 2013, http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/NSA-Surveillance-Politics/2013/06/12/id/509417.

[36] W. James Antle III, ” Civil Liberties: A GOP Civil War?” American Conservative, June 10, 2013,http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/civil-liberties-a-gop-civil-war/.

[37] Igor Volsky, “Lindsey Graham Warns GOP: ‘It Doesn’t Matter Who We Run In 2016’ If Immigration Reform Fails,” Think Progress, June 16, 2013, http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2013/06/16/2165161/lindsey-graham-warns-gop-it-doesnt-matter-who-we-run-in-2016-if-immigration-reform-fails/.

[38] Julia Preston, “Births to Illegal Immigrants Are Studied,” New York Times, August 11, 2010,http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/12/us/12babies.html.

[39] Kate Sheppard, “Lindsey Graham Said What About Climate Change?” Mother Jones, June 9, 2010,http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2010/06/graham-takes-climate-denial-plunge.

[40] Lindsey Graham Senate bio, http://www.lgraham.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=AboutSenatorGraham.Biography.

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Graham, Lindsey Résumé

Affiliations

  • International Republican Institute: Board of Directors
  • Atlantic Bridge: Former Adviser

Government

  • 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate
  • U.S. Senate (R-SC): 2003 –
  • U.S. House of Representatives (R-SC): 1995-2003
  • South Carolina House of Representatives: 1993-1995
  • South Carolina Air National Guard: 1988 –
  • U.S. Air Force: 1982-1988

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