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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 GrahamSenators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial Trump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial Democrats formally elect Harrison as new DNC chair MORE (R-S.C.) said on Thursday that he will support Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanOvernight Defense: National Guard boosts DC presence ahead of inauguration | Lawmakers demand probes into troops' role in Capitol riot | Financial disclosures released for Biden Pentagon nominee Biden Pentagon pick could make up to .7M from leaving Raytheon Lloyd Austin can lead — as a civilian MORE's nomination to be President TrumpDonald TrumpBlinken holds first calls as Biden's secretary of State Senators discussing Trump censure resolution Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' 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.