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

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDemocrats should rise above and unify against Trump's tweets US-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Media cried wolf: Calling every Republican a racist lost its bite MORE (R-S.C.) on Tuesday blamed the White House staff for an explosive meeting with President TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller 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 NielsenTrump quietly rolled back programs to detect, combat weapons of mass destruction: report Trump's family separation policy has taken US to 'lowest depth possible,' says former immigration lawyer Four heated moments from House hearing on conditions at border facilities MORE.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 DurbinDemocrats pledge to fight Trump detention policy during trip to border Dems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Democrats warm to idea of studying reparations MORE (D-Ill.), and several conservative lawmakers, with Graham saying the immigration talks had become anĀ "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."