Graham to support Defense pick he previously declared his 'adversary'

Graham to support Defense pick he previously declared his 'adversary'
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Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPost peace talks, Afghan elections are the best way forward Trump walks tightrope on gun control Pompeo doubles down on blaming Iran for oil attacks: 'This was a state-on-state act of war' MORE (R-S.C.) said on Thursday that he will support Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanDefense chief calls on European allies to be wary of China's investments, blasts Russia Pentagon chief approves 20 more miles of border wall Why Dave Norquist is the perfect choice for DOD's deputy secretary MORE's nomination to be President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' MORE's next Defense secretary, despite previously clashing with Shanahan over Syria. 
 
Graham said he viewed Shanahan, who has been serving as acting secretary since December, as a "logical choice" and that he expects to support him when his nomination comes to the Senate.
 
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"He has demonstrated to me his detailed understanding that a strong, modern, and well-trained military is essential in a dangerous and complex world," Graham said. 
 
Graham added he hopes Shanahan, as the Pentagon chief, would "advocate for defense policies that lead from the front, not from behind. I also hope and expect he will make it clear to America’s adversaries that we mean what we say, and that our allies see us as a reliable partner." 
 
The White House's Thursday announcement comes as the Trump administration grapples with rising tensions in a number of high-profile hot spots around the globe. 
  
Graham reportedly clashed with Shanahan during a security conference in Munich earlier this year about the administration's decision to pull U.S. troops from Syria. Trump ultimately shifted away from that decision amid fierce backlash from Graham and other GOP senators. 
 
Graham, speaking to Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin in February, said that he told Shanahan that the Trump administration's plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria by the end of April was “the dumbest f---ing idea I’ve ever heard."
 
“Well, if the policy is going to be that we are leaving by April 30, I am now your adversary, not your friend,” Graham said he told Shanahan.
 
Shanahan, according to an NBC News report detailing the exchange, fired back at Graham to ask if he had any more questions "as an adversary."
 
 
Mattis's decision to resign shook the Senate GOP caucus, with many lawmakers viewing Mattis as closer to their foreign policy views than Trump. Shanahan will likely face tough questions during his confirmation hearing about his ties to Boeing, where he was a former executive, and Trump's foreign policy and military strategy.