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

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief FBI director faces lawmaker frustration over Capitol breach Juan Williams: Hypocrisy runs riot in GOP MORE (R-S.C.) said Sunday that becoming a close ally of President TrumpDonald TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm 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 MattisRejoining the Iran nuclear deal would save lives of US troops, diplomats The soft but unmatched power of US foreign exchange programs The GOP senators likely to vote for Trump's conviction 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.”