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Graham: Trump State Dept. cuts would create ‘a lot of Benghazis’

Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts to the State Department could create “a lot of Benghazis,” according to the Washington Post.

Graham, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, said the cuts to diplomacy and embassy security would undermine the U.S. He said Congress would reject President Trump’s proposed cuts.

“If we implemented this budget, we’d have to retreat from the world and put a lot of people at risk,” Graham said. “A lot of Benghazis in the making if we actually implemented the State Department cuts.”

{mosads}Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget unveiled Tuesday would cut funding for the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development by $17.3 billion, or by 29.1 percent.

“A 29 percent cut means you really have to withdraw from the world because your presence is compromised,” Graham said. “That may be the goal of this budget. It’s not my goal. This guts soft power as we know it.”

The president’s budget is unlikely to be adopted by Congress and lawmakers have already criticized many of the proposed cuts.

Funding for diplomatic security came under scrutiny after the Benghazi attacks. Democrats accused Republicans of shortchanging the State Department. But conservative lawmakers said officials had failed to use their resources properly or prioritize security.

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