Graham defends Trump after North Korea summit: 'Trump means business'

Graham defends Trump after North Korea summit: 'Trump means business'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Media cried wolf: Calling every Republican a racist lost its bite Rubio criticizes reporters, Democrat for racism accusations against McCain MORE (R-S.C.), a foreign policy hawk and a staunch ally of President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE, on Thursday said Kim Jong Un knows "Trump means business" despite the recent setback in negotiations with North Korea. 

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“Why is 'Rocket Man' talking to Trump when he’s never talked to anybody else? Because he knows Trump means business," Graham said at the Conservative Political Action Conference, using a nickname Trump previously coined for Kim. 

"Why is the Taliban at the peace table? Because they’re being kicked in their ass. Why is the caliphate destroyed? Because Trump let the military do its job. Why is Iran on the run? Because Trump knows a bad deal when he sees one,” he said, referring to a range of international developments including the downgrade of ISIS and Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear pact with Iran.  

“He’s doing a hell of a job as commander in chief, he’s rebuilt our military, he’s put our enemies on the run, and he’s a better friend and nobody’s stood by Israel better than Donald Trump. Nobody.”

Graham also appeared to suggest the U.S. could take military action against North Korea should Kim Jong Un choose not to reach a nuclear deal with the White House. 

“Speaking of 'Rocket Man,' he couldn’t be here, and if he doesn’t get a deal with Trump he won’t be anywhere much longer,” he said to applause.

The South Carolina Republican, who also serves as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he also intends to wield his newfound chairmanship to fight for conservative judges who were nominated to federal positions.

“Judges, more judges, then some more judges … We’re going to process as many conservative judges as we can. We’re in charge of that committee. We’re going to use it wisely,” Graham said.

“This is not a place for the faint-hearted. Look at the people on the other side, every day is like a Super Bowl event.”

Graham was one of Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughMcConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch Lindsey Graham's Faustian bargain Liberal, conservative Supreme Court justices unite in praising Stevens MORE’s most vociferous proponents when his confirmation process last year was nearly derailed when three women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against the then-Supreme Court nominee.