and joining me now on a trip from the Middle East is Senator Lindsey Graham Republican South Carolina Senator Graham walking back to Meet the Press thank you very much I missed John McCain now more than ever everybody in the mid-eighties says hello to John McCain foreign words as you told me earlier this is your first trip to the Middle East without John McCain is a senator let me talk about your other Senate duties that are going to come up in a couple of weeks being a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that is the Supreme Court Supreme Court Justice are you looking for it seems like there’s three brands of conservative justices out there you got your your your strict constructionists of Antonin Scalia you got your John Roberts who I probably a little more to the center from Scalia but he’ll in the right who sort of moved with the country a little bit but staying to the right-of-center what kind of Justice are you looking at conservative not crazy solid I like a John Roberts type myself but I’m not picking president Trump run on the eye who would pick a conservative judge and it gave us a list so I would expect the name would come from that list and the people on that list or highly qualified and do you think it’s a problem if we waited until after the midterms Ford put fill the vacancy now the Garland situation was really odd Justice Scalia died in February about an election year 2016 I think it one time in a hundred years we fill the vacancy in the last year of a presidential term so I think we need to move forward I believe we will and it’s going to be a qualified Conservative Republican now till my Democratic friends looking friends want to Baba one he made two pics Sotomayor and Kagan I voted for both cuz I thought you were qualified I voted for Al lado and Robertson I would imagine I’ll vote for this pic the confirmation hearing is the issue of abortion when he was a candidate Donald Trump said that overturning Roe v Wade what happened automatically because his picks for the Supreme Court would all be pro-life do you view that connection is automatic that if you’re pro-life it means you’re for overturning Roe v Wade and that should be how the public assumes when they hear of a Supreme Court Justice being a potential nominee being pro-life well I’m pro-life and the job of a judge is to call decide cases before the court but one of the concepts it really means a lot of America is Starry decisis that means you don’t overturn present unless there’s a good reason and I would tell my pro-life friends you can be pro-life and conservative but you can also believe in Starry decisis wrote Roe v Wade and many different ways has been affirmed over the years but I would hope that Justice that sits on the court all would listen to the arguments on both sides before they decided but Starry decisis is a well-known Concept in our law and that’s important to you you’re not going to are you going to look for somebody that doesn’t believe in that I’m not going to that tells me they’re going to decide a case before the fax or send it to him I don’t expect the judge to say I’m going to overturn Roe v Wade or I will never listen to an argument about abortion I have a bill that says because of a baby can feel pain 20 weeks during the birthing process 20 weeks post conception that there’s a compelling State interest to protect a child from from an abortion at that. Five months of the pregnancy that’s a novel issue there’s never been decided under row so I hope that best assist this one and all of them will listen to the arguments before they decide in a confirmation hearing and I think it looks sillier and today’s politics more than ever is when you guys ask specific questions that I ask you all the time voters and the the nominee for the Supreme Court to see said you know I haven’t either thought about it or you know that’s to the 21st century we have a very blunt speaking president these days we don’t go for 60 votes anymore it’s 50 both shouldn’t the American people know what the Federalist Society knows about these just potential justices well I would say this the hearings hearings give us a chance to do that just as skin possess every way you could ask her I a candidate to be on the Supreme Court what would you do in this case versus that case and she did a pretty good job of saying I’m not going to tell you until I hear the facts but I think it’s important to understand for the Justice is coming from what is the Judicial philosophy and elections have consequences I got a lot of crap when I voted for soda bar and gagan right I thought they were qualified I would have picked either one of them I thought of course it was qualified Aledo and Robertson I expect person to be qualified but if you don’t like the pic of a Supreme Court Justice popsicle present make sure you turn out and vote for the present the president’s pick may end up having to rule on issues having to do with the Mueller investigation and this nominate Neil Gorsuch didn’t come up before he came up before there was a Robert Mueller special counsel now he exists do you believe this nominee needs to commit to work using him or herself for anything having to do with the Mueller probe actually right now if it makes its way to the Supreme Court given one of the potential nominees it said flat out they don’t believe a president should be susceptible to a lawsuit while sitting in office in a lawyer for us a politician to reduce yourself is it proper and some Elena Kagan recused herself from all the cases she worked on his solicitor-general you can’t really review your own homework but the idea that you can’t judge somebody who picked you is probably not a ground for recusal you got to show there’s some connection when the case at hand and the activity the judge makes perfect sense to me that Jeff sessions can oversee an investigation of a campaign he was part of but I wouldn’t have abroad rule that you can’t you know review anything against President Trump Kelsey alright that sounds so that there may be instances where you you might think of recusal is appropriate under having to do with this investigation that line if they had a direct I don’t know I don’t know who’s going to pick and you know I think whoever it will be active will be asked about the connections for the Trump campaign pending litigation any conflicts of interest a conflict of interest in the law is different than just you know again you can’t judge anything Trump did because he chose you that’s not a conflict-of-interest under the law and I will see where this goes we here at NBC a reporting that us intelligence agencies believe that the North Korean regime is already cheating on the commitments the Kim Jong on made to president Trump in fact they’ve apparently stepped up production of an uranium is this deal already headed to failure that’s a good question chuck if it is true there saying one thing and doing another nobody should be surprised but here’s what I would tell North Korea there’s no place for Donald the Kick the Can down the road you met with him in person he’s offering you a deal of a lifetime I would take it if you try to play Trump after meeting him in person he said president Trump he’s not going to allow North Korea to hit America with a nuclear tip well that’s where they’re headed so that I don’t want to war with North Korea the last best chance to avoid that Wars and peaceful end to their nuclear program for incentives to help them if they don’t take it and they play Trump like that played everybody else then regret it the Senators You Can Tell The President already knows this information we’ve learned it that’s as us intelligent he’s already been told this information does it concern you he has yet to act does it concern you for instance that he hasn’t said you know what the exercises with South Korea or back on I’ll be honest with you like I just know what I read I’ll follow up when I get back but it would concern me a lot if they are expanding the nuclear program as they make with the present I don’t want to war with North Korea it would be devastating a lot of people would be killed in her on top of that list will be Kim Jong um he will be killed or hurt really early on I hope what we read in the papers not true I appreciate the president trying everything you can within reason to avoid a military conflict but the play some North Korea having a bunch of missiles and bombs to threaten America are over some people think you can contain North Korea that they want attack us cuz that would be crazy I’m not going to make that bet they’ll sell anything they build so it’s now time to bring their program and then one way or the other and I hope this peacefully I’ll let me move to another Summit that’s coming up you were very skeptical when a President Obama in 2015 was about to meet with President Putin you are worried locked all over and in present Obama was there to confront him about Crimea and confront him about some of these things I got to ask you president Trump is already hinting that he’s ready to get out of Syria that he’s ready to hand them Crimea what concerns you have about this Summit I’m glad it’s meeting but I’ve got a lot it’s not Obama’s fault that Crimea was taken by Russia it’s rushes fault it’s up to president Trump to make sure that we don’t give rushing around Siri I’m in Turkey today this is so strategic Ally we got many problems but people in this region look at us is that an unreliable Ally we’ve allowed Isis to the rise for leaving a rock where now got Isis in a good spot but a lot of people over here very well about leaving Syria and giving it to the arrangements in the Russians which would throw the whole region into chaos so I’m concerned by what I hear I’m concerned when the president tweets you know Russia denies they meddled in our election say they didn’t metal they’re lying so I’m glad the president is going to confront Putin showing the evidence you got mr. present cuz it’s overwhelming you actually expect him to present the evidence that we have that’s like you don’t have it well here’s what I would say that in many ways this administration’s been tough on Russia we Farm the Ukraine we’ve imposed sanctions we kicked out diplomats but the eye Russia did not meddle in our election is fake news they did metal in our election in there doing it again in 2018 so I would urge president Trump what will Russia and Syria we have to deal with Russia their power through the world will let Putin know that what he did in the past is unacceptable but most importantly if you continue to undermine our democracy and others you going to pay a heavy price if Putin doesn’t understand that after this Summit then we made it we made a big mistake well I was going to ask you if there’s a there’s a lot of folks that have looked at some of the things president Trump has done or said particular when it comes to Europe and it asked whether he is an acting Putin’s agenda a few of this he’s apparently considered strong troops from Germany wants to know how much it cost he apparently promise mccrone a great side deal if he would get out of the EU his Ambassador over there his talk openly about sort of forces against Merkel he regularly talk about the political political situation against Merkel who basically lied to his face what’s going on here well here’s what I think I rightfully wants the Europeans to contribute more weight contribute about 70% of NATO’s budget so president Trump is right to Germany contribute to 2% of their defense but having said that he also says public to us is part of our military economic Alliance but I would say this President Trump is pushed back at in the Ukraine by Armand the Ukraine’s to give them a chance to defend themselves he hasn’t post sanctions against Russia but when you talk about Russia denies meddling in our election it bothers me at the end of the day this summer it is a chance to reset a relationship with Russia that’s an old term I hope it has a better outcome but if Russia doesn’t believe we’re serious about protecting our democracy democracy another’s then we made a big mistake here you know one of the messages you have brought back from the Middle East during the Obama era was you were concerned that you would say that our allies in the Middle Eastern since they don’t know if they can count on the United can allies in Europe can on the United States right now yeah congress’s firmly in Europe’s Camp I think the president is trying to get NATO Nations to contribute more but there’s no serious effort to get out of NATO I think present chase the alliance I can’t I’m not going to be on this show and tell you what he should say or not say I’m going to judge you about what he does I like some of the things he sent against Russia but this whole idea that there’s doubt that they meddled in our election is probably not helpful at all the idea of leaving Syria means you’re going to have ISIS come back the only thing I can tell president Trump for sure cuz if you leave cereal without thinking about it conditions on the ground being the reason you leave Isis to come back and if you leave anytime soon you’re giving Damascus Damascus to the arrangement so everything you said about Obama and the Rock you’re going to do in Syria please don’t do that question but he’s interactable Congress but yes I do I don’t have any reason to ask him to be removed I want Mueller to do his job I’ve got a real problem with the FBI agents who handle the Clinton email investigation I thought they were biased beyond belief Congress is looking that let mr. Rosen Stein do his job session should have recused himself let Mueller issues report we’ll see where it goes and finally have some Springport I made a joke to die McGann that July 9th is my birthday what a great present it would be tonight conservit so thank you Miss present that’s a good present but you said you wanted a John Roberts conservative what is John Roberts what what makes John Roberts conservatism different from say Neil Gorsuch or Anthony Scalia Justice Scalia what’s a great conservative judge who had a literal interpretation of the Constitution which is fine I just like justice Roberts I he’s done some things I disagree with but it’s not my decision I ran for president and here’s the good finish in the top 16 the bad news they’re only 17 people running president Trump what he put on the table who he was going to pick I think they’re all qualified if it pick somebody from that list I think they’re going to meet the test will qualify patients and they should be confirmed where this is not a referendum on Roe v Wade is a referendum o on whether not a Conservative Republican president can make the same pic that a Democrat made which is a qualified person what we’ve done with the Judiciary let me ask you this in 10 years what’s the Judiciary going to look like when we’ve had 10 years of judges and justices confirmed with 51 votes with as audiological to the left spiders you can find is that healthy what have we done are we turning the Judiciary in the Congress and that’s not a compliment sir okay that’s a great question I was in the gang of 14 that tried to avoid changing the rules when the Democrats filibuster most of bush 43 judges I got was seven Republican seven Democrats to keep the 60-vote requirement in place it held a 2013 Chuck Schumer who’s afraid mine call me up one evening and 2013 and said we’re going to change the rules as to Circuit judges I just wanted you to hear it from me and I said Chuck you will regret it they come to regret it but I think over the Arc of time you’re going to have more ideas what your choices from the left and the right and it’s going to hurt that you did Sherry that’s why I took a lot of 3/4 trying not to go to the to a simple majority but I cannot tell the people back in South Carolina is so pay for the demo the stack the circuit court and not change the rules for the Supreme Court what I worry about is changing the legislative 60-vote requirement I’m never going to do that I’d rather lose my job then turned ascended into the house but I hope Senator Schumer as the Democratic leader with step up and say he believes the 60 vote rule for for legislation has stood the test of time I think it has okay that’s what I said on the floor of the senate in 2013 all I can do is use my time here I’m not going to be part of turning the senate in the house this frustrating getting the other side to agree with you but let me tell you when it comes to the stuff collaboration is a good thing if there’s a genius star system you just can’t run over the other side and when during during 8 years of Obama nobody question they when I stood up to an agenda I didn’t agree with and I’m trying to play it down the middle here and be safe traveling this week which is probably go out there and thanks for coming I appreciate it thank youIn an exclusive interview with Meet the Press, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tells Chuck Todd that he believes President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee won’t have to recuse him or herself if questions of presidential power make their way to the Court.
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Full Graham: Mueller investigation ‘not a ground for recusal’ from Supreme Court