Graham: White House staff gave Trump 'really bad advice' on DACA

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Campaign Report: The political heavyweights in Tuesday's primary fights Harrison goes on the attack against Graham in new South Carolina Senate ad Overnight Defense: Lawmakers demand answers on reported Russian bounties for US troops deaths in Afghanistan | Defense bill amendments target Germany withdrawal, Pentagon program giving weapons to police MORE (R-S.C.) on Tuesday blamed the White House staff for an explosive meeting with President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE, saying they "gave him really bad advice."

"I don't think the president was well served by his staff. He's responsible for the way he conducts himself. ... Can't blame that on the staff, but I do believe his staff pretty much missed the mark here," Graham told reporters on Tuesday after a hearing with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenThe Seila Law case: Liberty and political firing Hillicon Valley: Twitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates | Barr vows to make surveillance reforms after watchdog report | DHS cyber chief focused on 2020 Sen. Kennedy slams acting DHS secretary for lack of coronavirus answers MORE.


Pressed if he was saying the president's staff gave him "bad advice" he added: "I think somebody on his staff gave him really bad advice."

Nielsen faced heated questions from Democrats on Tuesday over Thursday's White House meeting, in which Trump reportedly described immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations as coming from "shithole countries."

Graham is part of a small group of senators who announced last week that they had a deal among themselves to pair a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program with border security and changes to family-based immigration and the diversity visa lottery program.

But Trump rejected that proposal during a meeting with Graham, Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinHillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats Overnight Defense: Democrats blast Trump handling of Russian bounty intel | Pentagon leaders set for House hearing July 9 | Trump moves forward with plan for Germany drawdown Democrats, voting rights groups pressure Senate to approve mail-in voting resources MORE (D-Ill.), and several conservative lawmakers, with Graham saying the immigration talks had become an "s-show."

"What we need to do better is a reliable partner at the White House. Somebody like the president who showed up on Tuesday. We cannot do this with people in charge at the White House who have an irrational view of how to fix immigration," Graham told reporters.

Graham wouldn't say if he believes the "bad advice" came from White House aide Stephen Miller, a former Senate staffer known for his conservative views on immigration.

Asked if he was referring to White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, Graham added that "I think Gen. Kelly is a fine man, but he's also a part of the staff."