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

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThis week: House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime Congress set for clash over surveillance reforms Five things to know about emerging US, Taliban peace deal MORE (R-S.C.) on Monday broke with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests Sotomayor, Ginsburg should have to recuse themselves on 'Trump related' cases Sanders says idea he can't work with Republicans is 'total nonsense' Sanders releases list of how to pay for his proposals 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: Agencies play catch-up over TikTok security concerns | Senate Dems seek sanctions on Russia over new election meddling | Pentagon unveils AI principles Senate Democrats urge Trump administration to impose sanctions on Russia for election interference President Trump's assault on checks and balances: Five acts in four weeks 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.