Graham: Assad telling Trump ‘f— you’ by still using bombed Syrian base

Syrian President Bashar Assad is telling President Donald Trump "f— you" by still flying military aircraft from the base the United States tomahawk missiles struck on Thursday, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday morning.

Following reports of a chemical attack in Syria, the U.S. military bombed a regime airbase in Homs on Thursday. Since the bombing, Syrian warplanes have continued to take off from that air base.

"Here’s what I think Assad’s telling Trump by flying from this base: ‘F— you.’ And I think he’s making a serious mistake," Graham said on NBC’s "Meet the Press." "Because if you’re an adversary of the United States and you don’t worry about what Trump may do on any given day, then you’re crazy."

Graham said the Islamic State is still top priority, adding that "ISIS should be Germany and Assad should be Japan," relating it to World War II.

Graham, who has served in the United States Air Force, the South Carolina Air National Guard, and the Air Force Reserves, said there is a legal difference between using chemical weapons and conventional bombs. He added "that we’ve signed all over the world saying we’re not going to let one nation use weapons of mass destruction."

The South Carolina senator also called on more American troops — about 5,000 to 6,000 — on the ground to "accelerate the demise of" the Islamic State. Then, he said, the U.S. can "train the opposition to go after Assad."

"You need a safe haven quickly so people can regroup inside of Syria. Then you train the opposition to go after Assad," Graham said. "That’s how he’s taken out by his own people, with our efforts."

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