GOP senator endorses war with North Korea because the destruction will be in the Pacific

He defended Trump and said a preemptive strike is an option.

During a interview on Wednesday’s edition of CBS This Morning, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) assured Americans that if the Trump administration does go to war with North Korea — and “the time for talking is running out” — at least it will “be in the region, not here in America.”

Graham’s comments come the morning after the Washington Post broke news about a confidential U.S. intelligence report that concludes North Korea “has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles.” Trump responded later on Tuesday by telling reporters that if the regime of Kim Jong-un issues further threats, the U.S. will retaliate with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Graham cautioned that U.S. officials shouldn’t rush to judgment based on a single intelligence report, saying he “wants to know what South Korea and Japan think about the miniaturizing of a weapon.” He went on to imply, however, that armed hostilities are inevitable.

“I don’t want to trust one intel report,” Graham said. “We’ve learned from Iraq you need to be cautious, but I do believe Donald Trump will not allow Kim Jong-un to get a missile to hit America with a nuclear weapon on top, and it’s a matter of time until that capability exists.”

“So, I hope we can do this [with] diplomacy and sanctions or war would be terrible, but if there’s going to be a war, it’s going to be in the region, not here in America,” he added.

Graham defended Trump’s decision to threaten North Korea with a nuclear attack. He said the American military is “absolutely” prepared to strike, and laid out two scenarios in which war would be justified: “If they attacked Guam or some other American interest or our allies, or if they try to keep developing an ICBM with a nuclear weapon on top to his the homeland.”

“President Trump has basically drawn a red line saying that he’ll never allow North Korea to have an ICBM missile that could hit America with a nuclear weapon on top,” Graham added. “He’s not going to let that happen. He’s not going to contain the threat, he’s going to stop the threat.”

Graham downplayed concerns that the eruption of hostilities between the U.S. and North Korea could kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Korea and put tens of thousands of American troops stationed in Seoul in harm’s war, saying Trump needs to think about the American homeland first.

“Put yourself in President Trump’s shoes for a moment — where does your allegiance lie?” he said. “Isn’t your primary purpose as President of the United States to protect the American homeland from a nuclear weapon attack by a guy like Kim Jong-un?… He’s gonna pick homeland defense over regional stability and he has to.”

Graham’s good friend, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), was more critical of Trump’s comments and overall approach to the North Korea crisis.

During an interview with a Phoenix radio station on Tuesday, McCain said he “took exception” to Trump’s threat “because you’ve got to be sure that you can do what you say you’re going to do.”

“The great leaders I’ve seen don’t threaten unless they’re ready to act and I’m not sure President Trump is ready to act,” McCain said.