The next is a transcript of an interview with Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, that aired on Dec. 31, 2023.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And we will flip now to a kind of negotiators concerned within the talks, that’s Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who’s with us from Seneca, South Carolina. Senator, welcome again to this system.


MARGARET BRENNAN: You simply heard laying out for you all of the unbelievable issues that at the moment are being thought of on this proposed deal. They appear vital. Do you suppose that you just and the Republicans concerned on this negotiation can get the celebration to signal on?

SEN. GRAHAM: Properly, I hope so. We want- we have to do it, not just for Ukraine, however for our personal nationwide safety. I have a look at the border issues as a nationwide safety nightmare for America. The threats to America are at an all time excessive from jihadist teams, we’ve got a damaged border, 300,000 Individuals in December alone up about 400% from  20- from 2020. This is the important thing I believe. We’re asking the administration to make use of Title 42 sort authority to inform folks we’re full. It takes 4 years to get your asylum declare heard, we’ve got 1.7 million people who find themselves able to be deported, however they simply will not deport them. We have to ship some folks overseas to cease the influx, however Title 42 authority within the fingers of any administration keen to make use of it could cease this. If you come to our border. We are saying I am sorry, we’re full.

MARGARET BRENNAN:  Properly, at what quantity would you institute this? And simply to be clear, this may enable for the expulsion of migrants with out an asylum listening to?

SEN. GRAHAM: At zero.


SEN. GRAHAM: Okay, here is what- Sure, okay, we flip folks again due to COVID. Now we have a pandemic within the nation. Our system is damaged, you are gonna have mayor’s speaking about extra money to assist relocate migrants. We’re not gonna have a stay in Texas coverage. I do not know if Abbott will win in courtroom having a state legislation to take care of this. I do not know if he’ll or not, however he is a determined man attempting to guard his state. So to the mayor’s, name up the White Home and say, We’re Republicans to alter asylum, change parole, however implement a Title 42 authority that may cease the influx. We’re full. Do not come.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We’ll speak to the mayor’s about that. They’re truly asking the Biden administration for assist. However- However are you suggesting right here that there is not but settlement on expulsion authority in your group of negotiators?

SEN. GRAHAM: There’s- there’s, I’m telling you proper now, expedited elimination is on the desk. They need extra exceptions to make the rule nearly meaningless. We’re having to tug enamel to alter coverage. This isn’t irregular migration. That is a bunch of BS. It is a predictable end result of unhealthy coverage selections made proper after Biden turned president. All of us mentioned for those who do a stay in Mexico, you are going to have a run on the border-

MARGARET BRENNAN: Properly you already know, the Supreme Court docket obtained concerned in that and that is difficult with the Mexican authorities too however–

SEN. GRAHAM: No. It isn’t difficult.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Properly, within the past-

SEN. GRAHAM: No. It isn’t difficult.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You prompt in interviews that parole was a sticking level particularly that a part of the coverage.

SEN. GRAHAM: It nonetheless is.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Is that- is it a deal breaker for you? What do you wish to change?

SEN. GRAHAM: Properly, underneath our legislation, you are presupposed to parole folks on the person foundation. They’re utilizing humanitarian parole, an idea not even in legislation, to parole folks at 145,000 a clip. I wish to return to the unique intent of the legislation. I do not wish to do something dramatic. I simply wish to implement the legislation. The Asylum legal guidelines are being abused, let’s change them. Title 42 authority must be reapplied right here on the idea that America is full. If it’s a must to wait 4 years for an asylum listening to. Let’s decelerate the asylum system. 1.7 billion individuals are able to be deported. Let’s deport them earlier than we let new folks in.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So that you mentioned you aren’t asking for what the Home was demanding, this- this invoice referred to as H.R 2.

SEN. GRAHAM: Proper H.R 2. Proper.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Precisely. Have you ever been speaking in any respect to Speaker Johnson about what he could be keen to placed on the ground?


MARGARET BRENNAN: What’s he keen to do?

SEN. GRAHAM: Sure. We want coverage modifications that deal with the pull elements. There’s nothing irregular occurring on the planet. This was created by coverage selections that created new pull elements. Asylum reform, limitations on parole, re-invoking Title 42, I believe could be sufficient to get it by way of the Home. The coverage modifications should be actual. Now we have to start out deporting folks to decelerate the influx. In case you see folks leaving the nation, individuals are much less more likely to present up on the border. So I am urging- urging the Biden administration when Trump will get to be President, if he does, for those who’re right here illegally, you are going to be deported. There’s going to be mass deportation underneath Donald Trump of individuals right here in violation of the legislation who’ve obtained a last order of deportation. They are going to be going.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Properly, a few of these have restarted by way of Venezuela. As you already know, there are quite a lot of complicating diplomatic elements right here with a number of the nations you are speaking about. However I wish to make sure that I ask you concerning the connection right here to Ukraine. You have seen this unbelievable assault by Russia on Kyiv, a number of the most important missile assaults since this warfare has begun, and it occurs days after america sends the final cargo of assist for 2023. Do you see a connection? And when will Ukraine assist truly be capable to get by way of the Senate?

SEN. GRAHAM: It is going to be a package deal. I wish to assist Israel, they’re underneath siege. And I am not objecting to Secretary Blinken sending them weapons as an emergency declaration. I believe it is smart. Ukraine, I wish to assist desperately, however we obtained to assist ourselves. I can’t come again to South Carolina, and speak about giving assist to Ukraine and Israel if the border continues to be damaged. It isn’t damaged, it’s in chaos. I can’t let you know the humanitarian issues individuals are struggling resulting from this immigration. However our nationwide safety may be very a lot in danger, so Ukraine assist needs to be tied to frame.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Proper. However we’re nonetheless not there on border.

SEN. GRAHAM: Proper.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So each appear very a lot proper. In danger proper now.

SEN. GRAHAM: Yeah. This is what I’ll let you know about administration, settle for the concept that we’re full. Let- give us take the instruments we’re keen to provide you to cease the influx, begin deporting folks right here who ought to be, you already know, deported. Then you definately’ll flip issues round fairly shortly. To the Biden administration, settle for the instruments that can change issues, and we’ll get cash for Ukraine.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I wish to additionally make sure that since you might be on the Judiciary Committee, I requested you about what is going on proper now with this stress for the Supreme Court docket finally, doubtlessly to tackle a few of these circumstances involving the election. You mentioned again in 2021, after the Senate impeachment trial, you mentioned of Donald Trump, the President’s conduct is topic to the legislation of the land. In case you imagine he dedicated against the law, he might nonetheless be prosecuted after he is out of workplace. Do you stand by that assertion that Mr. Trump may very well be prosecuted and criminally liable?

SEN. GRAHAM: Yeah, it relies on what the conduct is. Now, for those who’re doing all of your job as president and January sixth he was nonetheless president, looking for out if the election, you already know, was on the up and up. I believe his immunity declare, I do not know the way it will- will bear out, however I believe it is a official declare. However they’re prosecuting him for exercise round January sixth, he did not break into the Capitol, he gave a fiery speech, however he isn’t the primary man to ever try this. So on the finish of the day, I believe this case won’t go to trial earlier than the election. I believe there are extra authorized points round this than you’ll be able to even think about about what- what- what can a president do as president? What are the constraints of being President?

MARGARET BRENNAN: However to be clear, you don’t imagine {that a} president ought to be immune from prosecution if he dedicated a felony?

SEN. GRAHAM: Properly, it relies upon on- proper. I imply, no one is immune from the legislation. However you do have presidential immunity to do your job. I imply, I’ve immunity to do my job underneath the Speech and Debate Clause. That is what the authorized difficulty is. This went earlier than the nation by way of impeachment, he obtained acquitted. I believe January sixth is baked into the cake. I believe the Jack Smith circumstances usually are not altering the political end result in polling. We’ll see what the courtroom does. On the finish of the day, Donald Trump is in place to win the Republican main as a result of Republicans imagine he had presidency. And I believe he can win the final election. And all these, like in Maine, knocking him off the poll. The Secretary of State in Maine is a reasonably radical individual. She mentioned the Electoral Faculty was a product of white supremacy. No it is a product of negotiation. Civil Struggle was about slavery. The Electoral Faculty was about negotiations between small states and huge states.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Properly, all this can go to the courts as you are laying on the market–

SEN. GRAHAM: Proper it’s going to.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And we’ll speak about that forward with David Becker, our election legislation skilled. Senator Graham, good to have you ever with us.

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