South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham wondered Sunday how President Donald Trump can negotiate an end to the partial government shutdown “as long as the radical left is in charge.”
Graham told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he doesn’t hold out much hope for a quick resolution to the impasse as long as Republicans are dealing with Democrats who are acting like fringe politicians.
“We’re having to negotiate with people who want to abolish ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], not support ICE. We’re having to negotiate with people who see border patrol agents gassing children, rather than defending our borders as professional law enforcement officers,” Graham said.
“And we’re negotiating with people who will … accuse all of us who support a wall as part of border security as racists. As long as the radical left is in charge, we’re not going to get anywhere,” he told the network.
Graham, who initially balked at supporting Trump’s candidacy to lead the Republican Party in the 2016 presidential election, has become one of the administration’s most loyal legislators. Graham defended Trump’s choice of Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice and has even come around to Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, after some initial opposition.
“The president is right to dig in to get money for a wall as part of border security,” Graham insisted. “The goal is to fix a broken immigration system.”
The government remains in a partial shutdown after three weeks of little progress between the president and a Democratic leadership that remains obdurate about not funding a border wall.
Newly reappointed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called the wall “immoral,” prompting the president to quip that she should also object to the wall around the Vatican.
“There is a deal to be had here, but it will include a wall,” Graham said. “And if there’s no wall in this deal, we’ll never have a deal.”