Sen. Lindsey Graham and President Trump have been the best of frenemies for a while now — since the campaign, actually, when Graham called Trump a “jacka**” and Trump gave a crowd Graham’s cell phone number.
Things have been up and down after that — mostly down recently after Graham told Trump that the president needed to compromise on border security and immigration. The president said “we’ll see,” which is more or less a Trump no.
So, let’s start this off by acknowledging that Graham wasn’t an early booker for a cabin sleeper aboard the Trump Train and tends to not infrequently get on and off between stations.
However, no matter what his feelings on Trump are, he had a pretty clear message for Kim Jong Un that The Donald would have loved: If Kim doesn’t want to come back to the table and go back to his old ways, the president will be more than happy to take care of Pyongyang any way he has to — including militarily.
The South Carolina Republican made the remarks during a Saturday appearance on Judge Jeanine Pirro’s Fox News show.
“He prefers to do it through a diplomatic solution which is a win-win for us, North Korea and the world,” Graham said of President Trump.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 28, 2018
“If he has to use military force, he will, he will destroy this regime if he has to, to take the nuclear threat away from North Korea,” Graham added.
Graham’s remarks came on the same day Kim Jong Un met with South Korean President Moon Jae In and one day before U.S. officials crossed into North Korea for further talks with Pyongyang officials even as the summit was still officially off.
“The talks are focused on what would be the substance of a potential summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un — the issue of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program,” The Washington Post reported.
“After Saturday’s surprise inter-Korean talks, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Kim was still committed to the ‘complete denuclearization’ of the Korean Peninsula. But Moon declined to define ‘complete denuclearization,’ suggesting that there are still fundamental gaps on the key issue bedeviling preparations.”
Nevertheless, as Churchill once noted, it is better to jaw-jaw than war-war, and meetings with officials from South Korea and the United States over what “complete denuclearization” entails as well as the conditions of a possible summit are a lot better than the minatory language coming out of Pyongyang which prompted the cancellation of the June 12 summit in Singapore.
However, it is always nice to have the ability to war-war, because it does engender a lot more jaw-jawing — as well as a better quality of it — with one’s adversaries.
Kim Jong Un can find that out the nice way or the hard way. By the looks of things, he’s choosing the former.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.