Graham on North Korea, Iran: U.S. can deliver "fatal blows to really bad actors in 2018"

Last Updated Dec 31, 2017 12:09 PM EST

Sen. Lindsey Graham says that President Trump should embrace the anti-regime protests currently engulfing Iran and be prepared to go to war with North Korea over the country's nuclear program. 

The South Carolina Republican, who has grown closer to Mr. Trump in recent months, told "Face the Nation" guest host Major Garrett on Sunday that the president is doing well when it comes to foreign policy. A noted foreign policy hawk, Graham also said that Mr. Trump should use the opportunity provided by the Iran protests to explain on television why the Iranian nuclear deal is "bad for the world."

"So if I were President Trump, I would have a nationwide address pretty soon explaining why the Iranian nuclear deal is a bad deal for the world, what a better deal would look like, and urge Congress and the European allies to get a better deal with Iran -- before it's too late," Graham said. 

When asked if it might be counterproductive for the U.S. to endorse the protests, Graham dismissed that thinking as "the Obama approach."

"If I were Trump, I'd do the exact opposite of Obama," Graham said. "Obama said, 'I don't want to get involved, I don't want mess up the chance of getting a deal with Iran.' Well, the deal with Iran hasn't worked. The money didn't go to benefit the people, it went to benefit the Ayatollah and his henchmen."

When asked by Garrett if he had shared these views with the president personally, Graham responded, "I just did." 

Garrett then asked Graham about his recent assertion that, should the North Koreans test another nuclear weapon, the chances of the U.S. attacking that country rise to 70 percent. 

"The president has drawn a line in North Korea telling the regime, 'I will never let you hit America with a nuclear-tipped missile. If I have to, I'll use military force to stop you.' Now, the Iranians are watching the way he engages with North Korea, and vice versa. So we've got a chance here to deliver some fatal blows to really bad actors in 2018. But if we blink, God help us all," Graham said. 

Asked if this means 2018 "will be the year of preemptive strikes," Graham said it will "be the year to deny North Korea the capability to hit the homeland."