The Atlantic

How Lindsey Graham Tries to Keep Trump Hawkish

The South Carolina Republican lobbies to keep American boots on the ground in foreign conflicts—but neglects some of the attendant costs.
Source: Jim Bourg / Reuters

Donald Trump rose to power denigrating the Iraq War and promising an “America First” foreign policy. He rarely shows any concern for human rights and is unapologetically transactional in his rhetoric. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is among the most hawkish, interventionist members of the Republican Party, believes that protecting human rights can be a good reason for going to war, and makes frequent rhetorical nods to a foreign policy that reflects American values.

“By talking to [President Trump] as much as you do,” Graham was asked at The Atlantic Festival on Wednesday, “do you believe you’re moving him to another position?”

What followed in his conversation with Jeffrey Goldberg, ’s editor, illuminated how Graham attempts to influence the president, as well as Graham’s arguments for the ongoing presence of U.S. troops in war

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