Feinstein: Lindsey Graham Should Get A Classified Briefing Before Talking About Attacking North Korea; "No Good Military Options"

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Top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee Dianne Feinstein joined MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Tuesday afternoon to comment on statements made on 'The Today Show' that morning by Sen. Lindsey Graham about North Korea.

"If there’s going to be a war to stop [Kim Jong Un from acquiring nuclear weapons], it will be over there. If thousands die, they’re going to die over there. They’re not going to die here. And [President Trump] has told me that to my face," Graham said Tuesday morning.

Feinstein said: "My reaction is that Lindsey Graham should get a classified briefing, like the ones I have had, and sit down with Secretary Mattis, which I have done."

She explained: "It is all classified. But we know much more about these weapons and where they are and what the difficulties are. And that's all I can say."

Transcript:


SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CALIF.) MEMBER, SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Let me say something about General Kelly: he is an adult, he knows the world. He has supervised 250,000 employees and a whole field of battle. I think he knows what he's doing.

And one of my hopes is that, in addition to being a chief of staff, he can be not a co-president but a man whose advice is valued.

The president mentioned to Senator Grassley and me, when we went in to see him over Gorsuch, how much he valued General Kelly and what General Kelly has done and General Kelly's thinking on matters.

So my hope is that General Kelly will be more of a participant in some of the big things. Russia, if it's true, Russia is mounting troops on the border of European countries with a star tank (ph) division. We ought to know that. We ought to be doing something about it.

We certainly ought to say the time has come to talk with North Korea and stop this and talk with them subject to no preconditions but sit down and negotiate a solution because everything that I know is that there is no military answer to this.

If you -- if, for a moment, if you look at what the DMZ is today, 750,000 North Korean troops behind that hill line at the end of the plain and those hills studded with rockets, we have 28,000 troops there and Seoul is a 25-minute drive to the DMZ.

There is no military solution. A war would mean the death of hundreds of thousands of people. And it makes no sense.

So we -- and isolating a nation, in my view and my study of history, does not work. So a top-notch team should reach out and say, we are ready to sit down and talk with you, North Korea. And do this at the highest levels.

MITCHELL: And, in fact, I wanted to share with you something else that Lindsey Graham said on the "Today" program today, because there is a lot of talk about a first strike. We know that there are military plans. Obviously, we have military plans for everything and particularly for North Korea, especially given new intelligence analysis from DIA that we were two years wrong about when they might be able to put the warhead on that missile and miniaturize it.

But this is what Lindsey Graham had to say today to Matt Lauer.

MATT LAUER, NBC HOST: Every military expert says there is no good military option.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), S.C.: Well, they're wrong. There is a military option, to destroy North Korea's program and North Korea itself.

LAUER: Are you saying it is OK to use a military option that immediately endangers the lives of millions of people in that region?

GRAHAM: I'm saying it's inevitable unless North Korea changes because you're making our president pick between regional stability and homeland security.


MITCHELL: I don't know what your reaction to that is.

(CROSSTALK)

FEINSTEIN: Well, my reaction is that Lindsey Graham should get a classified briefing, like the ones I have had, and sit down with Secretary Mattis, which I have done.

MITCHELL: OK. Well, I think I understand, especially after having interviewed General Dunford last week, what the implications are, because of the artillery, because of the millions of people in South Korea, to say nothing of Japan, of what the implications would be.

FEINSTEIN: Well, there is more to it than even that. And it is all classified. But we know much more about these weapons and where they are and what the difficulties are. And that's all I can say.

MITCHELL: One of the things that I've been reporting, not to put you on the spot, is that we're talking about tunnels here, we're talking about mobile launchers, we're talking about launchers that now -- missiles that are now launched with solid state fuel, not the liquid fuel, so they're not on the launch pad for so long.

So it's -- let me just pause it; it is hard to target them, it would be hard to take them out or to know that we're getting everything out. China may know more than we do. But we don't know a whole lot about what is happening underground.

Leaving that --

(CROSSTALK)

FEINSTEIN: All I can say, Andrea, is that you're correct.

MITCHELL: Thank you for that.

FEINSTEIN: You're welcome.

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