— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 1, 2017
A vocal critic of Donald Trump and his administration, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) chastised the president for fostering a chaotic environment in the White House. Criticism notwithstanding, however, Graham also devoted a significant portion to promoting the president’s agenda regarding North Korea, whose recent long-range missile tests have reportedly resulted in weapons capable of striking the United States. Detractors have since noted that Kim Jong-un’s military likely doesn’t actually possess intercontinental missiles, but Graham hinted that Trump wasn’t taking any chances.
“There is a military option to destroy North Korea’s program and North Korea itself,” Graham replied to Today host Matt Lauer’s insistence that military experts weren’t convinced about the country’s weapons capabilities. “If there’s going to be a war to stop them, it will be over there. If thousands die, they’re going to die over there. They’re not going to die here, and he told me that to my face.”
“It’s inevitable unless North Korea changes, because you’re making our president pick between regional stability and homeland security,” Graham continued. “There will be a war with North Korea over their missile program if they continue to try to hit America with an ICBM. He has told me that, I believe him, and if I were China, I would believe him too.”
Soon after Graham’s appearance on Today, CNN reported the U.S. military had detected “highly unusual and unprecedented levels” of North Korean submarine activity in and around the country’s most recent missile test. They also found evidence of an “ejection test,” through which developers test-launch a missile that ejects out of its launching mechanism via a “cold-launch system” before the rocket’s engines fire up. Combined with recent reports of the Trump administration’s plans to ban all U.S. travel to North Korea, Graham’s comments this morning sound all the more severe.