Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a new interview that there’s a “70 percent” chance that President Trump will attack North Korea if the state conducts another nuclear missile test and a “three in 10 chance” Trump will attack no matter what.
“I would say there’s a three in 10 chance we use the military option,” Graham told The Atlantic published Thursday.
“I don’t know how to say it any more direct: If nothing changes, Trump’s gonna have to use the military option, because time is running out,” Graham said.
The South Carolina senator said that it would be an “all-out war against the regime” if the president does in fact use the military option.
“There is no surgical strike option. Their [nuclear-weapons] program is too redundant, it’s too hardened, and you gotta assume the worst, not the best. So if you ever use the military option, it’s not to just neutralize their nuclear facilities—you gotta be willing to take the regime completely down,” he added.
Graham said he supports diplomacy.
“I’m not taking anything off the table to avoid a war,” he said in part. “When they write the history of the times, I don’t want them to say, ‘Hey, Lindsey Graham wouldn’t even talk to the guy.’”
Graham, who golfed with Trump on Sunday, added that the topic of the North Korean threat “comes up all the time” amid escalating tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.
In September, Trump warned that he will “totally destroy” North Korea if the country continues to threaten the U.S. and its allies.
North Korea has responded with fiery rhetoric, warning the U.S. is “begging” for war after conducting joint aerial drills with South Korea.