Graham: Trump’s new AG has ‘concerns’ about criminal justice bill

Graham: Trump’s new AG has ‘concerns’ about criminal justice bill
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhat you need to know about FBI official Dana Boente's retirement Rosenstein steps back into GOP crosshairs The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump tweets as tensions escalate across US MORE (R-S.C.) says that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has "concerns" about a criminal justice bill authored by senators with the help of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines Priest among those police cleared from St. John's Church patio for Trump visit Trump criticizes CNN on split-screen audio of Rose Garden address, protesters clashing with police MORE's son-in-law, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump's strategy to stay in office Trump tries to soothe anxious GOP senators Press: King Donald's goal - no checks, no balances MORE, but doesn't want to stop the bill from passing.

Graham told The Washington Post that Whitaker's concerns centered around the aspects of the bill dealing with enforcement of drug felonies, for which the bill would reduce mandatory minimum sentences in some cases.

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“He said he doesn’t want to kill it,” Graham said Thursday, according to the Post. “He just wanted to express his concerns.”

Graham also said Whitaker had expressed his concerns to Trump, who announced his own support for the plan on Wednesday.

Whitaker's views on the bill are important as his predecessor, Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines What you need to know about FBI official Dana Boente's retirement Rosenstein steps back into GOP crosshairs MORE, was seen as a major obstacle to proponents of criminal justice reform on Capitol Hill.

The bill, among other measures, would reduce the final "three strikes" penalty from life in prison to 25 years behind bars.

“These members have reached a bipartisan agreement … on prison reform legislation. Today I’m thrilled to announce my support,” Trump said on Wednesday. “I urge lawmakers in both House and Senate to work hard and to act quickly and send a final bill to my desk, and I look very much forward to signing it.”

Trump on Wednesday touted the bill's support from the Fraternal Order of Police and other law enforcement groups during a ceremony with GOP lawmakers and Kushner at the White House.

“Throughout this process my administration has worked closely with law enforcement. Their backing has ensured that this legislation remains tough on crime. It’s got to remain very tough on crime and supports the tremendous work of our police,” the president said at the event.