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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 GrahamUS-Saudi relationship enters uncharted territory Trump tells McConnell to let Senate vote on criminal justice reform Overnight Defense: Nauert tapped for UN envoy | Trump teases changes to Joint Chiefs of Staff | Trump knocks Tillerson as 'dumb as a rock' | Scathing report details Air Force failures before Texas shooting 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 TrumpJoaquín Castro: Trump would be 'in court right now' if he weren't the president or 'privileged' Trump flubs speech location at criminal justice conference Comey reveals new details on Russia probe during House testimony MORE's son-in-law, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump flubs speech location at criminal justice conference John Kelly to leave White House at year's end The Memo: All eyes on Kelly as Trump shake-up gathers steam 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 SessionsJohn Kelly to leave White House at year's end Five things to know about William Barr, Trump’s pick for Justice Department Trump says AG pick deserves bipartisan support 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.