Graham: ‘Ridiculous’ That Trump Cited Cost As Rationale For Ending War Games

on November 1, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America

As President Donald Trump doubles down on how “expensive” it is for the U.S. military to train with the South Korean military, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC), who regularly spends downtime golfing with the President, called Trump’s rationale for halting the practice “ridiculous.”

“The money we spend on training with our allies is money well spent,” he told CNN Tuesday. “It’s not a burden onto the American taxpayer to have a forward deployed force in South Korea. It brings stability. It’s a warning to China that you can’t just take over the whole region. So I reject that analysis that it costs too much, but I do accept the proposition, let’s stand down and see if we can find a better way here.”

Trump announced on Tuesday that he had agreed to halt “war games” — the joint military practice between the U.S. and South Korea — on the Korean peninsula, an exercise that’s widely regarded as an effort, in part, to saber-rattle North Korea. During a press conference following his denuclearization meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Trump cited the expense of the practice as rationale for agreeing to stop doing it. He doubled down on that defense in a tweet on Wednesday morning, claiming the U.S. saves “a fortune” by not participating. 

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