Lindsey Graham admits shutdown talks are not going anywhere — on purpose: 'The goal is not to open up the government'

Lindsey Graham admits shutdown talks are not going anywhere — on purpose: 'The goal is not to open up the government'
Lindsay Graham/Screengrab
Lindsay Graham/Screengrab

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) claims that shutdown talks between congressional leaders and the Trump Administration are not actually to open up the government.


"It was pretty clear to me that we're never going to get a deal unless we get a wall as part of it," said Graham, citing recent discussions he has had with the president, before attempting to lay the blame at the feet of the "radical left."

We're having to negotiate with people who are seeing the border patrol as gassing our children, rather than as professional law enforcement officers," claimed Graham, attempting to say that negotiations are stalled because the left is more focused on a desire to "abolish ICE" rather than open the government.

"As long as the radical left is in charge, we're not going to get anywhere," Graham said. "He (President Trump) is willing to compromise, but he will not capitulate. So that's where we're at."

Graham also seemed to push the notion of a border wall as only a part of a comprehensive national security plan, and backed the notion of it being a "steel barrier" versus a concrete wall.

Graham was unwilling to budge on the notion of reopening the government and paying the roughly 800,000 federal workers currently going without pay before making a determination on a border wall, again claiming that it was democrats who were being unreasonable.

"The democrats see our law enforcement officers as the problem, we see the illegal immigrants, the coyotes, and the illegal drug dealers as the problem," said Graham.

"What about the people who work for homeland security who are carrying out the policies you're talking about and who are not going to get paid," interjected host Margaret Brennan. "What about the Coast Guard?"

"They're being held hostage by people who say you need one dollar to secure the border," replied Graham, citing Speaker Nancy Pelosi's claim she would only offer one dollar to the construction of a southern border wall.

Brennan asked, "So you don't want to open the government and the continue talking?"

"I do want to open the government," replied Graham, "but the goal is not to open up the government. The goal is to fix a broken immigration system."

View the exchange below.

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