Sen. Graham predicts 2018 will be a year of extreme danger

Sen. Lindsey Graham was a bit doom-and-gloom during his appearance on Face the Nation Sunday, suggesting that 2018 will be a year of ‘opportunity and extreme danger.’ 

‘We’ve got a chance to deliver fatal blows to bad actors in 2018, but if we blink, God help us all,’ Graham warned.

The South Carolina Republican was mainly worried about Iran and North Korea. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham predicted 2018 could be a year of ‘extreme danger,’ pointing to the country’s two biggest threats: North Korea and Iran 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (right) talked to CBS News' Major Garrett (left) and gave him some ideas for how President Trump should deal with both North Korea and Iran 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (right) talked to CBS News’ Major Garrett (left) and gave him some ideas for how President Trump should deal with both North Korea and Iran 

With protesters hitting the streets in Iran, Graham suggested President Trump should do the ‘exact opposite’ of what President Obama did. 

‘Obama said, I don’t want to get involved, I don’t want to mess up the chance of a deal with Iran,’ Graham said, characterizing Obama’s actions. ‘Well, the deal with Iran has not worked.’ 

The South Carolina senator suggested Trump give a major address to the American people on the subject of Iran and use that address to outline why the Iran deal hasn’t worked. 

‘The people are not getting the benefit of sanctions relief,’ Graham pointed out. ‘They are more upset with their oppressors than ever, the money from sanctions relief is going to rebuilding the Iranian military and is destabilizing the Middle East.’ 

President Trump tweeted support for the protests Sunday morning, before Graham came on-air. 

‘The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism,’ Trump said after marveling over the ‘big protests.’

‘Looks like they will not take it any longer. The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!’ the president added. 

Graham pointed out that the president’s involvement needed to go deeper than a tweet.

‘But you just can’t tweet here. You have to lay out a plan,’ he said.  

Graham also noted that, ‘the Iranians are watching us in North Korea,’ while the ‘North Koreans are watching us in Iran.’ 

Graham, a ‘hawk’ in the Senate, predicted that there was a 70 per cent chance the U.S. would use military action against North Korea, should the rogue regime test another nuclear weapon. 

Graham put that at 30 per cent if North Korea, instead, chose to test another ballistic missile.  

CBS News’ Major Garrett, who was filling in for host John Dickerson, asked if Graham meant that 2018 would be a year of ‘preemptive strikes.’ 

‘2018 is going to be the year to deny North Korea the capability to hit the homeland,’ Graham said. ‘Sanctions will never work completely without the threat of credible military force.’ 

‘How do you change a man’s behavior who’s willing to kill his own family, torture his own people, to stay in power?’ Graham mused, speaking of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. ‘He’s living large, and he could care less about his people.’ 

The only way he’ll change, Graham believed, was if ‘he believes Donald Trump would use military force to destroy his regime.’ 

‘And the Iranians are watching how Trump deals with North Korea,’ Graham said again.    

The South Carolina senator also talked about his about-face when it came to Trump.

‘It’s evolved because he is president of the United States, he beat me like a drum and I want to help him where I can because there’s a lot on this man’s plate and we should all want to help him,’ Graham said. 

Running for president in 2016, Graham called candidate Trump a number of things including a ‘kook’ and an individual ‘unfit for office.’ 

‘Yeah, I said everything,’ Graham acknowledged to Garrett. ‘I said he was a xenophobic, race-baiting religious bigot. I ran out of adjectives.’ 

‘Well, the American people spoke, they rejected my analysis and he is now my president,’ Graham said.  

The Republican noted he worked with Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush too, despite the fact that Obama came from the opposing party and Bush beat out Graham’s best Senate friend, Sen. John McCain, in the 2000 GOP primary.

As for Trump, ‘I’ve got to know him better, he asked a lot of good questions,’ Graham said. 

‘I think he’s made good foreign policy choices,’ the Republican senator added.