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

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico Bolton exit provokes questions about Trump shift on Iran The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation MORE (R-S.C.) on Monday broke with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat 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 PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe Hill's 12:30 Report: NY Times story sparks new firestorm over Kavanaugh Gabbard warns Trump: Acting like 'Saudi Arabia's b---- is not "America First"' Trump ramps up rhetoric on Iran 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.