Graham says becoming Trump ally ‘absolutely’ worth it: ‘I’ve had more access to this president than every president combined’

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.) said Sunday that becoming a close ally of 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 has "absolutely" been worth it, pointing to the access to Trump it brought him.

"I feel like I’ve had more access to this president than every president combined. We don’t always agree," Graham said on CNN's "State of the Union."


Graham, who criticized Trump during his presidential campaign before becoming one of his closest allies in Congress, voiced opposition earlier this month to Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, saying it would be an "Obama-like mistake."

The senator was also recently at odds with Trump over his decision not to severely punish Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman following the murder of U.S. resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

But Graham said Sunday that he has been "generally pleased" with Trump's decisions on foreign policy.

"He pulled out of the Iranian agreement, which was a nightmare. He’s increased military spending to a level that I could not be more pleased with. He changed the rules of engagement in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria so [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] is just about destroyed," Graham said.

"All I ask him to do is make sure we don’t fumble the ball inside the 10-yard line," he continued. "Sit down with the generals to make sure we get Syria right.”

Graham added that Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria, which was quickly followed by the resignation of 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, "caught me by surprise."

"I fear it’s going to undercut all we have achieved," he said. "And I’ll ask the president to reconsider. And I think he’s going to sit down with his generals and make an informed, well thought out decision.”