Graham: Woodward, Anonymous Op-Ed An Effort By Dems Because Russia Storyline Is Falling Apart

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Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) discusses contentious Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings, reacts to Obama's comments about the DOJ on 'Sunday Morning Futures. Graham also made his case for another special counsel to investigate the conduct of FBI employees.

"I'm so disappointed in the Department of Justice," Graham said. "You have got the number four person at the Department of Justice ,who basically is in narcotics, handling Christopher Steele, who's the chief author of the dossier used to get a FISA warrant. Ohr's wife worked with Christopher Steele at Fusion GPS. They were on the payroll of Democratic Party."

"We know all about Christopher Steele. We know that he was a former British intelligence agent who hated Donald Trump, who felt like he needed to personally stop Trump from winning, that went to Russia, got information from the Russian intelligence services to write a dossier, this bunch of political garbage," he added.





Graham said Bob Woodward's new book and the anti-Trump anonymous 'New York Times' op-ed will mean nothing in 2020.

"That the op-ed and the book won't matter in 2020," the Senator said. "The president will be judged on his results. As to the author of the op-ed piece, they suggest that, if it weren't for him and a few others, the president wouldn't be doing good things for the country."

"Isn't it kind of odd that everything the president's doing, he promised to do during the campaign? He promised to cut taxes. He did. He promised to destroy ISIS. We are. He promised to nominate people from the list of 25. He's done -- picked two out of that list," Graham said.

The Senator also said he is "more excited and hopeful about North Korea than at any time in the last 30 years" and that is all due to President Trump.

"That's a darn good deal for Kim Jong-un. It's a good deal for the world. If I were North Korea and China, I would take this deal. I wouldn't play President Trump," he advised.

"I am more excited and hopeful about North Korea than any time in the last 30 years," Graham said. "And the credit goes to President Trump for being strong, but also for being smart."

MARIA BARTIROMO, 'SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES' HOST: South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham it at all. He joins me right now to talk more about it. He sits on both the Senate Judiciary and Budget Committees.

And, Senator, it is good to see this morning. Thanks for joining us.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SOUTH CAROLINA: Thank you. Glad to be out of the hearing.

(LAUGHTER)

BARTIROMO: Your reaction to last week's -- your reaction to last week's proceedings?

GRAHAM: Well, the Democrats are under a tremendous amount of pressure from the left to destroy everything Trump.

I was very disappointed in the tone of the hearing, trying to suggest that Judge Kavanaugh wasn't telling the truth about a conversation between him and some person in a 300-person law firm that bore no fruit.

In terms of documents, we gave Democrats more documents on Kavanaugh than the last five Supreme Court nominees combined. He's the most qualified judge of his generation, outstanding 12 years on the bench. You know exactly what you're getting with him, 300-plus decisions.

This was an effort by the Democrats to respond to a base that's just really gone crazy with all things Trump. He's going to get confirmed. I think there'll be a handful of Democrats vote for him on the floor, nobody in the committee.

Confirmation hearings now are about base politics. It's not about the qualifications of the nominee. And I really hate that.

BARTIROMO: Well, you know, it's extraordinary when you look at the resistance that's happening on all fronts against this president...

GRAHAM: Yes.

BARTIROMO: ... including his nomination to the Supreme Court of Brett Kavanaugh.

GRAHAM: Yes.

BARTIROMO: How do you think the impact plays out here? Do you think voters will remember the resist and obstruction coming on the left in terms of trying to get things done come November?

GRAHAM: I don't think voters remember process. They do -- they do remember results.

I think a lot of voters who have had a chance to look at Judge Kavanaugh -- the ABA gave him the highest rating possible, well-qualified. You had liberal lawyers who had interacted with the judge throughout his career said that he was nothing but a tremendous, well-qualified, call-it-as-you- see-it judge.

So I think, in 2020 particularly, those who are running on the Democratic side feel like they need to be loud and they need to be mean, they need to be rude to get the nomination.

Kavanaugh will matter in terms of how you vote in 2020. The process won't. The economy will matter. How safe we are will matter. Results will matter. And I think that's why President Trump is doing so well, because he has had good results.

They don't talk about results. They talk about personality and process, because they don't have an alternative agenda that makes any sense.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

And that is why the left is trucking out their, you know, big -- big prize here. And that is President Obama.

(LAUGHTER)

GRAHAM: Yes, Obama.

BARTIROMO: President Obama was out on the campaign trail this weekend a lot. And he had something to say about the way President Trump handles things.

Listen to this. I got to get your reaction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We do not pressure the attorney general or the FBI to use the criminal justice system as a cudgel to punish our political opponents...

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: ... or to explicitly call on the attorney general to protect members of our own party from persecution -- prosecution because an election happens to be coming up.

I'm not making that up. That's not hypothetical.

(END VIDEO CLIP)


BARTIROMO: Wow. That's just one big wow, particularly after what we have witnessed...

GRAHAM: Wow.

(LAUGHTER)

BARTIROMO: ... took place in the 2016 election...

GRAHAM: Yes.

BARTIROMO: ... where a group of individuals at the top of the FBI and the DOJ pushed to stop Donald Trump and exonerate Hillary Clinton with not a lot of investigating.

Your thoughts on what you just heard, Senator?

GRAHAM: Right.

Well, it's not -- President Obama, it's not what you're making up. It's what you're leaving out. You're leaving out the fact that your attorney general, Loretta Lynch, told the FBI director, don't call the Clinton e- mail investigation an investigation. Call it a matter.

You're forgetting to tell the public that the number four at the Department of Justice, Mr. Ohrs -- Mr. Ohr, Bruce Ohr, wife worked for Fusion GPS, which was on the payroll by the Democratic Party to hire a foreign agent to go to get dirt on candidate Trump and Russia.

You're leaving out the fact that Mr. McCabe, the number two guy at the FBI, is under grand jury investigation for lying. You're leaving out the fact that the director of the FBI under your watch, Mr. Comey, actually leaked internal memos for the express purpose of getting a special counsel appointed.

You're not talking much about the Page-Strzok memos where they openly hated Trump, in the tank for Clinton. Other than those few details, President Obama, you got it right.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

Well, where does that investigation stand at this point in Senate Judiciary? I mean, we have watched a handful of interviews, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, et cetera.

GRAHAM: Right.

BARTIROMO: Where does this go from here from your standpoint, sir?

GRAHAM: We need a special counsel yesterday.

I'm so disappointed in the Department of Justice. You have got the number four person at the Department of Justice ,who basically is in narcotics, handling Christopher Steele, who's the chief author of the dossier used to get a FISA warrant. Ohr's wife worked with Christopher Steele at Fusion GPS. They were on the payroll of Democratic Party.

He met with Steele after Steele was found to be an unreliable informant. You got McCabe facing grand jury inquiries.

BARTIROMO: Right.

GRAHAM: You need a special counsel.

And the documents that the House is asking the president for release about how corrupt the Department of Justice was on President Obama's watch, they need to be released, because, on President Obama's watch, the Department of Justice was political and corrupt to its core, and the top levels of the FBI under President Obama, on President Obama's watch were also corrupt, fired and facing indictment.

BARTIROMO: Senator, why won't the president declassify the documents, so that the American people can understand and clearly see...

GRAHAM: I have no idea.

BARTIROMO: ... how this investigation was hatched?

If you were to release the documents before the investigation was launched in July of '16, we could clearly see the conversations that took place to better understand why Hillary Clinton wasn't investigated and why they were trying to stop Donald Trump. Will he declassify?

GRAHAM: Well, we're -- yes, they should.

We're not compromising any informant. We know all about Christopher Steele. We know that he was a former British intelligence agent who hated Donald Trump, who felt like he needed to personally stop Trump from winning, that went to Russia, got information from the Russian intelligence services to write a dossier, this bunch of political garbage.

It was used to get a warrant on Carter Page. We know that Bruce Ohr's wife worked for Mr. Steele. We need to get all this information out as part of oversight. Somebody needs to watch those who watch us.

So if I were the president, for transparency's sakes, for oversight sake, for reforming the Department of Justice and FBI to get a better product in the future, I would release this just to show what President Obama said about how good his FBI and Department of Justice actually were. It's a complete falsehood.

BARTIROMO: Well, there are calls for the president to do just that. We will be watching that.

Let me move on to this op-ed from The New York Times this past week, because, with all of this going on...

(LAUGHTER)

BARTIROMO: ... the detractors on the left are basically trying to paint a picture of massive chaos all the time in the White House.

The new book by Woodward comes out this upcoming week, "Fear," and then you have got this op-ed that The New York Times released from an anonymous source who says he's trying to stop the president from making all these bad decisions, but he is on the resist movement's side.

Your thoughts? Who wrote that op-ed?

GRAHAM: Right. I don't know.

But here's what I would do know, that the op-ed and the book won't matter in 2020. The president will be judged on his results. As to the author of the op-ed piece, they suggest that, if it weren't for him and a few others, the president wouldn't be doing good things for the country.

Isn't it kind of odd that everything the president's doing, he promised to do during the campaign? He promised to cut taxes. He did. He promised to destroy ISIS. We are. He promised to nominate people from the list of 25. He's done -- picked two out of that list.

Everything the president promised about deregulating America -- deregulating America, he's delivering on. He promised to rebuild the military. It's kind of odd that everything he's doing, he promised.

Here's what I think. Why this op-ed piece now? The New York Times is the choir director for the left. They set the agenda for the left and the mainstream media. They chose this op-ed piece to start a narrative that Trump is crazy, I think, because the Russia probe is falling apart.

The idea that Russia -- that Trump colluded with Russia in his campaign is falling apart before our eyes. So I think The New York Times is trying to start a new narrative by publishing an op-ed piece from an anonymous source to suggest the president is unhinged.

This is an effort on their part, in my view, to start a new storyline because the Russia probe storyline is falling apart.

BARTIROMO: Well, you made a lot of comments there about the promises this president has made. One of the big promises was a border wall.

I want to ask you about that, because the president said he wants the funding in place for that border wall...

GRAHAM: Yes.

BARTIROMO: ... before the deadline for funding coming up on September 30. Your colleagues in the Senate are poised to not give him that and not give him the vote.

...

BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

I'm back now with Senator Lindsey Graham.

And, Senator, North Korea now celebrating its 70th anniversary with a parade.

(LAUGHTER)

BARTIROMO: I want to get your take on that, because what was noticeably different this time in terms of the celebrations going on in North Korea was no display of long-range missiles.

GRAHAM: Right.

BARTIROMO: Do you think they're trying to tell the world something in terms of their -- their desires for denuclearization? What's the status?

GRAHAM: Well, I hope they're trying to tell us something good.

The fact that the missiles are not in -- not in the parade is a signal they don't want to be provocative. But they still have the missiles, so you can't forget the fact they still have them.

Here's what I think has changed. I think we have got a chance here to end this in a peaceful way for the first time in 30 years because of President Trump. I think North Korea and China believe, if he had to, President Trump would use military force to protect the American homeland from a missile with a nuclear weapon on top of it coming from North Korea that he's going to end their nuclear program one way or the other.

And he's offered a better way. It's sort of like, condos and develop North Korea is one option. The other is death. So there's now a timeline. Everybody agrees it should be done in President Trump's first term. There's also a goal that everybody agrees on, that North Korea gives up their nuclear weapons program. In return, they get security, prosperity and a peace treaty to end the Korean War.

That's a darn good deal for Kim Jong-un. It's a good deal for the world. If I were North Korea and China, I would take this deal. I wouldn't play President Trump.

I am more excited and hopeful about North Korea than any time in the last 30 years. And the credit goes to President Trump for being strong, but also for being smart.

BARTIROMO: Wow. Big statement there.

And there is a letter that we know of from Kim Jong-un to President Trump about basically suggesting that he would like to see progress.

GRAHAM: Yes.

This is working. I think Kim Jong-un wants security above everything else. Unlike Iran, I don't think he would use a nuclear weapon for a religious purpose.

BARTIROMO: Right.

GRAHAM: But he would sell it if he had it. He's got way too many. And if you don't do something, and he will have a lot more down the road.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

GRAHAM: So I think Trump has convinced Kim Jong-un and China that the best way for North Korea to be safe and secure is to give up your nuclear weapons. You will get security guarantees, and you will get economic assistance you have never had before to create a better life for the -- for the regime and their people.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

GRAHAM: It is all about Kim Jong-un, his inner circle, and survivability.

BARTIROMO: And...

GRAHAM: I think Trump has convinced him that you're better off without nuclear weapons than you are with them...

BARTIROMO: Yes. And...

GRAHAM: ... which would be one of the greatest foreign policy achievements since the end of World War II.

BARTIROMO: You -- you have made the...

GRAHAM: We're not yet, but we're getting closer.

BARTIROMO: You have made the point that North Korea is watching Syria closely and Trump's response to Syria. I'm going to get to that in a moment.

GRAHAM: Yes.

BARTIROMO: But let me get your take real quick on something we talked about in the other block, the earlier block. And that is the border wall.

Will we see the border wall funding before the September 30 -- for the for the budget funding?

GRAHAM: The House has $5 billion. The Senate has $1.5 billion. We're 3.5 apart.

We need 60 votes to get appropriations approved in the Senate, not 50. I don't think it'd be smart to shut the government down between now and the end of September.

Under President Trump, we're going to fund about 70 to 80 percent of the government before September the 30th, the first time we have done that in 30 years. We will get wall money. We have got to do something with DACA. I thank you marry those two up.

But the worst thing we could do, in my view, is shut the government down and be blamed for it. The last time that happened under Schumer's watch, it didn't work out well for them. We will get wall money. It will most likely occur after September 30.

BARTIROMO: And you said the nine bills that you're going to put on the president's desk before the end of September deal with other substance, but 90 percent of the federal budget will have to be approved.

Do you think you will get to the wall after the midterms?

GRAHAM: Right.

BARTIROMO: I mean, do conservatives want the funding for the wall, Senator?

GRAHAM: Yes, I do. I do. I 100 percent want $25 billion, not $5 billion.

But we got -- we got to deal with DACA. We will, because I think Trump's going to win in court. I think he can overturn President Obama's DACA decision. It was illegal. But we got to deal with the people who are affected by it.

So when it comes to running the government, we're about to pass the defense bill and the Labor HHS bill, which is about 70 percent of funding for the federal government. If we can pull that off the next couple of weeks, it will be the first time we have done that in 30 years. And our military will get a pay raise and the equipment they need to keep us safe.

That would be a huge accomplishment on President Trump's watch. We will get wall money. But I don't think it's smart to shut the government down between now and September the 30th.

BARTIROMO: All right, we will leave it there.

Senator, it's good to see you this morning. Thanks so much. We appreciate you joining us right now. We heard about the border funding from you.

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