Trump doubles down on Graham: 'How did going into Iraq work out?'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations Former senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Title, release date revealed for Bolton memoir MORE doubled down Wednesday on his disagreement with Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial Trump defense team signals focus on Schiff Trump legal team offers brisk opening defense of president MORE (R-S.C.) about the president’s approach to Iran, where Graham has renewed his calls for military strikes.

“Ask Lindsey how did going into the Middle East, how did that work out? And how did going into Iraq work out? So, we have a disagreement on that,” Trump told reporters in San Diego after Graham said the U.S.’s failure to retaliate earlier this summer after Iran downed an American drone was received in Tehran as “a sign of weakness.”


“No I actually think it’s a sign of strength. We have the strongest military in the world now. And I think it’s a great sign of strength,” Trump told reporters, echoing a tweet he sent out Tuesday evening in response to Graham, calling his response “a sign of strength that some people just don’t understand!”

Trump reportedly authorized a military strike on Iran after the drone was shot down but said he recalled it at the last minute upon learning the strike could cause 150 casualties.

Graham has renewed his calls for a strike on Iran in recent days after a drone attack on two Saudi oil production sites, for which Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed credit. Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHere's how the US can pressure Lebanon's new government tackle corruption Trump questions why NPR exists after Pompeo clashes with reporter Senate Dems to Pompeo: Comments about NPR reporter 'insulting and contemptuous' MORE and other U.S. officials have directly blamed Iran for the strike, but Tehran denies responsibility for the attack.

Trump said on Monday that he was waiting for an American intelligence assessment of the attack and that, while the U.S. is prepared for armed conflict, he wishes to avoid it, after initially claiming the U.S. was “locked and loaded” and awaiting direction from Saudi Arabia.

— Brett Samuels contributed to this report.