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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 GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time Additional airlines ban guns on flights to DC ahead of inauguration MORE (R-S.C.), a foreign policy hawk and a staunch ally of President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit 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 KavanaughWhy we need Section 230 more than ever 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate Murkowski says she is not considering joining Democratic caucus 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.