Graham splits with Trump on securing sea lanes, says US must work with allies

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamLincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump backs another T stimulus, urges governors to reopen schools Democrats awash with cash in battle for Senate MORE (R-S.C.) on Monday broke with President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' Trump confirms 2018 US cyberattack on Russian troll farm Trump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott MORE on the issue of securing sea lanes, saying the U.S. needs to help its allies.

His remarks came after Trump suggested the U.S. doesn't have to protect commerce in foreign waterways like the Strait of Hormuz.

"Mr. President, you are right: our allies and stakeholders in the Strait of Hormuz should do more. However, safe navigation of sea lanes — vital to a world economy — is always in America's national security interest," Graham tweeted.

He added that protecting sea lanes is "best achieved by partnerships where all the stakeholders contribute and sacrifice for peaceful navigation."

Trump, who frequently opposes the nation's role as the world's police force, tweeted earlier in the day: "So why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation."

He suggested that the U.S. doesn't "even need to be there" as the "largest producer of Energy." 

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The U.S. last week blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, amid heightened tensions between the two nations, in an incident Trump called "very minor."

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok Amazon backtracks, says email asking employees to delete TikTok was sent in error Amazon asks employees to delete TikTok from mobile devices: report MORE also weighed in on Monday, tweeting that "freedom of navigation is paramount." His remarks followed a meeting with leaders in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to discuss ways to counteract Iran's actions in the region. Pompeo called the meeting productive.