Lindsey Graham threatens Defense Secretary Esper over Africa withdrawal: ‘I could make your life hell’

Lindsey Graham threatens Defense Secretary Esper over Africa withdrawal: ‘I could make your life hell’
Lindsey Graham image via Screengrab.

According to a report from NBC, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reportedly had a confrontation with Defense Secretary Mike Esper in Germany where the two were attending the Munich Security Conference, with the Republican lawmaker telling Esper he could easily make administration official’s life “hell.”


According to the report, the two were part of the U.S. delegation that was reportedly “dumbstruck” by the hostile reception they received from world leaders which included more than a few speeches that were highly critical of the policies of Donald Trump.

NBC reports that Graham is upset that Esper might pull U.S. troops out of Africa which the South Carolina Republican opposes.

According to the report, “Sen. Lindsey Graham and a bipartisan group of lawmakers, uniting against a Trump administration idea to withdraw U.S. troops from part of Africa, pushed back during a fiery exchange with Defense Secretary Mark Esper here over the weekend, according to four people present at or familiar with the meeting.”

At issue was lawmakers insisting they would not support a U.S. troop withdrawal from the Sahel region in Africa with Graham taking the lead.

The reports states, “At one point, Graham warned Esper that there would be consequences if the Pentagon withdrew all troops from the region. Graham told Esper that he could “make your life hell,” according to the four people. One member present said Graham, [Democratic Sen. Chris] Coons and several other lawmakers laid out their case ‘forcefully.'”

NBC reports that this is not the first time Graham has gotten into it with a Defense Secretary while overseas.

“Last year, NBC News reported that during a meeting on the sidelines of the 2019 Munich Security Conference, Graham had a ‘tense’ and ‘heated’ exchange with Esper’s predecessor, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, over Trump’s decision to pull troops from Syria,” the report states. “Officials said that at the 2019 meeting, Graham unleashed expletives at Shanahan and told Shanahan that he should consider him ‘an adversary.'”

You can read more here.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.