Graham, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union today, was exasperated by Bash’s leading questions on the recent decision by President Donald Trump to pull US troops out of Syria.
Bash asked Graham whether Trump would be to blame if the Islamic State terrorist group became more powerful after troops left.
Graham initially deflected responsibility to former President Barack Obama’s decision to withdraw from Iraq in 2011.
“Everything we’re dealing with today falls on Obama’s watch. He’s the one who withdrew from Iraq,” Graham said.
Bash countered, “But he did it because there was a Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq, right?”
“Listen. No, that’s a bunch of bullshit,” said Graham. “Pardon my French. That’s a complete lie. That’s a complete, absolute lie.”
Bash’s eyes widened in surprise: “That didn’t happen?”
Graham recalled saying that he had hoped Obama’s decision to withdraw troops from Iraq in 2011 was correct but that he feared the decision would “come back to haunt us.”
Although critical of Trump withdrawing from Syria, Graham said he’s mostly “very pleased” with the Trump administration and has had more access to the president than ever.
“He was dealt a bad hand by Obama and he needs to play it better than he’s playing it. Keeping the troops in Iraq is great,” he said.