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

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial Trump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial Democrats formally elect Harrison as new DNC chair MORE (R-S.C.) on Monday broke with President TrumpDonald TrumpMore than two-thirds of Americans approve of Biden's coronavirus response: poll Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor Mexico's president tests positive for COVID-19 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." 


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 PompeoMike PompeoWhite House installs new leadership at federally-funded international broadcasters US carrier group enters South China Sea amid tensions between China, Taiwan Biden can hold China accountable for human rights abuses by divesting now 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.