Defense

Graham says Bolton briefed him on Iran, tells Trump to ‘stand firm’

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Monday that national security adviser John Bolton had briefed him on escalating tensions with Iran, and urged President Trump to “stand firm.” 
 
“Just received a briefing from National Security Advisor Bolton about escalating tensions with Iran. It is clear that over the last several weeks Iran has attacked pipelines and ships of other nations and created threat streams against American interests in Iraq,” Graham said in a pair of tweets. 
 
He added that “if the Iranian threats against American personnel and interests are activated we must deliver an overwhelming military response. Stand firm Mr. President.” 
{mosads}Graham’s tweets come after he publicly warned last week that the administration was leaving lawmakers, including himself, in the dark about threats from Iran and the State Department’s decision to pull most U.S. personnel out of Iraq. 
 

“No, I feel we haven’t been well informed,” Graham said last week. “I don’t think it’s fair for us to walk around wondering.” 

 
Graham and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) also requested a briefing on the State Department’s decision to pull personnel out of Iraq. 
 
Top administration officials are expected to head to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for back-to-back briefings with the House and Senate to update lawmakers on the tensions with Iran. Lawmakers have complained about inconsistent briefings over the past week and argued that they need to be in the loop about the administration’s strategy. 
 
The New York Times reported last week that the Pentagon has presented a plan to send 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks U.S. forces. Trump dismissed the report but later added, “Would I do that? Absolutely.”

Trump is also ramping up his public rhetoric against Iran, saying in a tweet on Sunday that “if Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!” 

Tags Donald Trump Iran John Bolton Lindsey Graham military force Patrick Leahy Senate

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