Graham: Trump will consider moving troops out of South Korea if North Korea is 'playing' him

Graham: Trump will consider moving troops out of South Korea if North Korea is 'playing' him
© Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamRomney helps GOP look for new path on climate change Dem senator: 'Appropriate' for Barr, Mueller to testify publicly about Russia probe Conservatives wage assault on Mueller report MORE (R-S.C.) on Sunday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Countdown clock is on for Mueller conclusions Omar: White supremacist attacks are rising because Trump publicly says 'Islam hates us' MORE previously came close to pulling U.S. troops out of South Korea and added that Trump will reconsider doing so if North Korea is "playing" him.

Graham said on CBS's "Face the Nation" that moving military dependents out of South Korea would signal that the U.S. is "preparing for military conflict." The senator added that the current engagements between the U.S. and North Korea could be "fruitful," but that "we're not out of the woods yet."


“If [Trump] has to, he’ll use military force to stop a missile coming to America with a nuclear weapon on it," Graham said.

“We were really close to having to make that hard decision," he continued. "Now we have some time. Are they playing us? I don’t know. If they’re playing Trump, we’re going to be in a world of hurt because he’s going to have no options left. This is the last best chance for peace.”

Graham said on "Face the Nation" in July that he warned Trump during negotiations with North Korea that he has been "played" by Pyongyang. 

Graham said Sunday that Trump was previously frustrated with North Korea "saying one thing and doing another," something Graham said prompted the president to consider withdrawing troops from South Korea.

The senator added that while that didn't happen, "the president is serious" about considering that option.

"The whole point here is President Trump has no place to kick the can," Graham said.

Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman Mattis16 times Trump said ISIS was defeated, or soon would be Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief under investigation over Boeing ties | Trump uses visual aids to tout progress against ISIS | Pentagon, Amnesty International spar over civilian drone deaths Pentagon watchdog probing whether acting chief boosted Boeing MORE said in June that the idea of pulling U.S. troops from South Korea is "not even a subject of discussions."