Sen. Graham: Trump ‘Understands We Are in a Religious War’

By Susan Jones | November 1, 2017 | 6:22am EDT
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) (Photo: Screen grab/Fox News)

( – “The one thing I like about President Trump, he understands that we’re in a religious war,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Tuesday night, hours after a legal immigrant from Uzbekistan rammed his rented truck into people enjoying a sunny day on a lower Manhattan bike path, killing eight of them.

The terrorist, apparently acting on behalf of ISIS, ended his mile long rampage when he crashed into a school bus. A policeman shot and injured him. He is expected to survive.



Graham told Fox News the American people need to know, “We’re fighting people who are compelled by their religious views to kill us all. They kill fellow Muslims who don't agree with their view of Islam; they kill Christians and vegetarians, libertarians, Jews, you name it."

Graham continued:


So we’re in a war. The last eight years, the Obama administration turned the war into a crime. So I talked with the president tonight. He is right to make sure that when somebody comes into our country from a place where radical Islam – and that's the enemy -- thrives, that we’re going to ask extra hard questions. 

He’s also right to look at this as a war. The last thing I want this guy to hear tonight is "You have a right to a lawyer." The last thing (he) should hear is his Miranda rights. 

I’ve been a military lawyer for 33 years. There's enough evidence to believe that he qualifies as an enemy combatant under the law of war. He can be held by our intelligence community, as long as necessary to find out -- did he act alone and was he part of a bigger plot.

So I hope President Trump will break the cycle of turning the war into a crime by declaring this guy a suspected enemy combatant, hold him under the law of war until we know exactly who he is and what he did. 

Graham defended his use of the term “religious war.”


If you ask fellow Muslims, they hate these guys more than we do. I’ve been to Iraq and Afghanistan 43 times. I’ve never had anybody over there tell me to quit saying radical Islam. 

They want everyone to know, one, Islam is not represented by these guys. It's a form of Islam, it requires them to kill us all. Most Muslims don't buy what they’re selling. We need partners in this war. I'm glad that President Trump went to Saudi Arabia and urged the Muslim leaders of the world to stand up against this hate. 

But we’re at war. So if you treat it like a crime, you’re going to get the same outcome as you did under the Obama administration. 

Graham said  under President Trump, “The gloves are off.”

"He’s telling the military you can go after these guys wherever they go. You can kill them when you find them, you don't have to watch them drive away. Now he’s got a chance to tell the American people, the homeland is part of the battlefield."

Graham also noted that President Trump has changed the rules of engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan, allowing military commanders to make battlefield decisions, instead of micromanaging from the White House.

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