foreign policy is hard
September 11, 2018

The Trump administration, like several former administrations, has struggled with how to handle its relationship with North Korea. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), though, apparently thought it might be easier to eliminate the problem altogether.

Investigative reporter Bob Woodward wrote in his new book that Graham suggested the U.S. should push China to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, The New Republic reported Tuesday. After the dictator had been murdered, Graham suggested, China could take over North Korea as a de facto colony.

Graham reportedly offered the sage advice to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster back in September 2017, when other officials were publicly reassuring North Korea that the U.S. didn't want to force a regime change. The suggestion reportedly came just days after Trump tweeted "Little Rocket Man" as his new nickname for Kim.

"China needs to kill him and replace him with a North Korean general they control," Woodward quoted Graham as saying. The move, he purported, would "wind this thing down," with "this thing" presumably being the escalating tension between the isolated nation and the U.S.

Woodward's book, Fear, recounts Graham's effort to push Trump toward more aggressive military strategies. Graham was also on board with killing another foreign leader, reports The Daily Beast; when it was reported that Trump suggested the U.S. should assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying, "Let's f--king kill him! Let's go in," Graham agreed. He told The Daily Beast, "[Trump] was right. We should have killed the bastard." Sources say Trump is increasingly leaning on Graham for foreign policy advice. Summer Meza

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