If Trump doesn't 'follow through' on Syria tweet he risks looking 'weak': Sen. Graham

ABC News' Martha Raddatz goes one-on-one with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. and asks him about the president's response to reports of a possible chemical weapons attack in Syria.
12:12 | 04/08/18

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Transcript for If Trump doesn't 'follow through' on Syria tweet he risks looking 'weak': Sen. Graham
middle of the country an joining ows senator Lindsey graham. Senator aham, good morning. Gd morning. The Dow fell almost 575 pots Friday over concerns about the presids tariff proposal. Those farm families I talked to like tchers in are concerned. Would you say to them? L, that wee trying to get China to act better and if get into test with cha you're go have to see this thing through. The chinbuy a lot of American soybeans and pork. They got 1.2 bon people to feed. I tell these people that to go to the rust and see what's happening in that part of America due hinese unfair trade practices. I support ident trump pushing back against commodi dumping and actual propertyft, currency manipulation and go see this thing through.the Chinese need us than we need them ecally and only way you get China to change is make them pay a price and our farming communities on Tront lines but we got to stick wi it. Your Republican colleague anyone senate Ben sasse slammed the president's strategy saying, China is guilty of many thin but the president has no actual plan to win right now. Hehreatening to light American agricren fire. Let's absolutely Tak cnese bad beor but with a plan that punisheem instead of us.this is the dumbest possible way to do this. Doheresident have a plan? Well, I would say to be there is no way to putiffs he products that benefit from Chinese currency manipulation, intellectual property theft and commo dumping without thtential of China firing back. Wetrying to protect the American steel industry from chinesmping. We're trying to prt the American high-tech community Chinese intelctual property theft and one of the ways they can fight back I hit us in the agricultural sect , there is no way for us to address China withousorbing some pain here. So to those who believe that chis cheatinhaidea do you have betthan trump he's first guy to actually them on, they a weak economy coed to ours, the these, they don't have social security. They don have unemment benefits. They don't have medicare or caid so let's plays out. They need us more than we need and all I'm asking to do, Martha, is to heating us out of markhare. I want a good relationship with China. But you can't have one when they cheaout of market share. Senatorham, China seems to know exactly where target is, maximizing pressure in states like your own wbmw and volvo who've warout the impact of trade confli. The Chinese are plg this in a very sophistic way. They are. And I authoritarian state. You really thinksident XI is going to BAC down? Think their economy is set up so they gfeed billion people a day. So if you tariffs on pork products coming in from the un states, the pork prices go up in China. You turn to some other country to get your pork. Thereventually going to be a problem china when you increase tariffs on soybeans, commodity prices go up in a. The chine people don't get to vote but the get to grumble so my state makes BMWs. It wl hurt BMW in the short term to deal with the Chinese stmping. I undendhat. But at the the day the president promisf he got to redent he would push back against China. That'sctly what he's doing. They're pushing against us. I like our ces of prevailing we stick with it. The presi is tweeting in this morning, however.tin thin sin this morning, however. Esident XI and I will always be fends. Chinll take down its trade barriers becaut the right thing to do. Taxes will becomciprocal and a deal will be made intellectual property. Great future for both countries. What's going on what? Well, numr one, I hope that -- proves to be true but the Che president will not giv cause it's the right thing to do. He'll give in because it hurts onomy to the point THA has to change his behaor. Every European nation will agree that China has -- engas in unfairde practices. The world should unite around esident trump, bring this to a closure and all we're asking China tois play by the rules. You can't in the Chinese markets. B are the negotiations Goin on right now? Yes Is there really a plan he If U want to open up business ia you have T have aority stake in the business. They are stealing intellal operty and opening up a competitor rigcross the streetnd you can't get in the financial servicesket in China because their goventloses it out. What we want is reciprocal fair trade, Y, they're talking but don'derestimate thoblems that China will have over a prolonged engagement with the united STA Let's move to the border. Want to kn whether you Agre think we've exhausted China there. I nt to know if U agree with the ident sendnation guard troopsthe border a doing it so suddenly. Well, he'll be third president to do so and here's what I would tell there makes sense to send soldiers to the but you're not going to secure a border jbydding national Guard troops. You got to go to the root cause of this. The caravans comom the triangle countries, hondur Guatemala in particular because the condns are so D. If you D't have comprehensive immigration form so it's easier for American companies hire, you have more labor available tomerican companies,you'll never fix this problem and here's whawould tell the American peo we have two ers, one with Canada, one with Mo. I've never mn illegal Canadian. I weo New Hampshire to look for them and couldfi them when I was running for presid people from the south S do not have sound econs, and if you don't fi economic magnet, you'll never solve immigration problem so buildinwall alone N't do anything. Welet's talk about the immigration problem.eaier this week the present tweeted there would no more DACA deal. You've been part of the DACA negotiations in congss. Is a deal really off the table and if so, what happens those child? Well, there's a pin there somewhere, Martha. And I'm lookinthat pony. Number one, the court wi probably rule the president do the road that he termindaca. Creates some chaos for the DACA recs who came here on the age age of 6 when they had nowhereeo go. This is their country. E is a deal to take caf them and get the border wall we desperately need, plus interior ement to make us sa that deal can be don I'll make a prediction onshow that there will be another fort to marry up border security and DACA by tpring, early Su. And you feel confidt that will go through? I'm hopeful it because if we fail, it's just disaster for the DACA Ries and for our nasal security and 70% of therican people want us to do both. May fail but I believe we it to the American peoto try again and I'm going to tin and I think the president is open-mind to trying again. And, senator graham, I want to move on to Syria. 'Ve all seen those horrific images thirning. Yes. The president just tweeting, manyead including women an children in mindless ccal attack in Syria. Ident Putin, Russia and Iran are resible for backing animal Assad. Big price to pay. At do you think he M by that? Bossert told me nothing is off the table Well,t's the defining moment in his presidencyause he has challenged asin the past not to use chemical weapons. Had a one and done missile attack so Assad is at it ain. They see our resolve breaking and they see our determine to stay in Syria wanand it's no accident they use chemical weapons but ent trump can reset the table . To me I would destroy ass air force. Wod create safe Zones in sywhere people can come back to their country from the surround area live a better life. Train yrians to take on Assad. We can negotiate in Geneva from a position of strgth. Ifcomes a tweet without meaning, then he's hurt hims with Korea. If he doesn't follo tough liveto that tweet, he's going to look weak in the ey of Russia and an so this is a defining moment, mresident. You needfollow through with that tweet.show a resolve that Obama NER did to this right. And, senator graham, this week also you D president trump saying he weed to pull our troops out of Syria. They clarifiedt somewhat. Who you think about doing that? I know it'different fight, it's against ISIS. Plete utter dister to leave before the fight is done. Have we learned nothing what happens when you leave soon and we pull O troops out of Iraq. ISIS came back.but presidenump made a speech in Riyadh, Martha, that was very important. He went to the Arab world said two Thi I stand wit you against Iran and I stand with you to death radical Islam. If we leave Syria by the mere passage of time, we undercut that police isill come back. You'll be giving Damascus he Iranians. Theyve a land gerom Tehran to Beirut. Syria will be occupied by Hezbollah, Russia, Ira niare for our friends in Israel. Yo got to stwith it. You need a holding force as part of a regiol force. If Americans are not part of a hog force, ISIS will come back here is no stratbythe trump adstration to counter Iranian expansiod U need a strategy to deal with irust as much as ISIS the test of that strategy is in sya. We saw H.R. Mr, the presids national security adviser, leave this week he got a very warmd-off from staff but -- A greatan. You have John bton coming in. There is H.R. Mcmaster truly clealoved by some of the staff there. But you ve John Bolton coming in. Whill change and what do you thwill change with Syria, if anng? Well, I had dinner wi Bolton last week and he asked me what is G E my biggest challenge. I said it would be syr president trump's taken the gloves off when it comes fighting ISIS side of Iraq and done the same in syriaants to somehve. All I can tell president trump you building a wall to protect us from threats from the southeorder, there is no wall you can buildthe mideast. The only way we can protect America from mideast threats is have our troops working with regional partners have a virtual wall over there. If youake these troops out of ISIS comes back. Iran beginto dominate Syria and 'she end of us being a reliable ally. The KUAT fault with us will get ghtered by Turkey. The entire region going to melt down into the sni/shia conflict so Pompeo and bolto need to explain to the presi of the United States what has in Syria matters to Amer E is no foreign government or force to outsource our national security. Keep theseops in Syria. If pl them out too soon, you'll have a Iraq all ove again with worse consequences. Senator graham, jfinally back to domestic Polit EPA chief Scott Pruitt has been under this week after numerous rep questioning his ding habits. Do you think he should go? Think he's done a good B but I'm looking to see what the overght committee is going to say. And twlobbyists change the locks you've got a problem. The Bo line is in't look good. I like Scott. Done a goodob from my point of view as being EPA nistrator E congress has an oversight role here and wee where this goes. S it look ke he's engaged in questionable behavior to you? I don'tnk you could get a room for a night. T would be tough to do in Washington. Th for sure. Thanks very muchnator graham. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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