Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reportedly had a confrontation with Defense Secretary Mark 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,” NBC News reported Tuesday.
The news outlet reported that Graham and Esper 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.
According to the report, Graham is upset that Esper might pull U.S. troops out of Africa which the South Carolina Republican opposes.
“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,” NBC News writes.
“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.’”
AS noted by NBC, 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.’”