“Everybody asked me about Trump in terms of policy changes,” Graham told reporters Thursday, detailing a recent congressional delegation trip to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt.
Top concerns involved Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country, and his suggestion that the United States allow Russian President Vladimir Putin a bigger role in combating the Islamic State terror group, or ISIS, in war-weary Syria. Graham said most of the leaders opposed working with Putin, due to Russia’s ties with Iran.
Graham said the leaders were “just dumbfounded that somebody running for president of the United States would suggest that the United States ban everybody in their faith. It’s not helping them help us.”
“I think there will be a new Congress, there will be an appetite to reset, that there will be more push back against the Russians and the Iranians, that the nuclear deal will be looked at anew … and that things are going to get better,” Graham said. “I think most Americans and Europeans, after [terrorist attacks in] Brussels and Paris, feel like, if they don’t invest over there, they’re coming here.”
Trump is the Republican presidential front-runner, although his loss on Tuesday to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in the Wisconsin primary has complicated his march to the nomination.