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Sen. Lindsey Graham: Orlando is a symptom of Obama's failing ISIS policy

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 16, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

 

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: A terrifying warning from the CIA director about our fight against ISIS.

You will hear from him in just a second. But, first, remember when President Obama said this on Tuesday?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our coalition continues to be on offense. ISIL is on defense. And it's now been a full year since ISIL has been able to mount a major successful offensive operation in either Syria or Iraq.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: But then today, his CIA Director John Brennan who works for him disagreed and sounded this alarm.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: Unfortunately, despite all our progress against ISIL on the battlefield and in the financial realm, our efforts have not reduced the group's terrorism capability and global reach.

Moreover, the group's foreign branches and global networks could help preserve its capacity for terrorism regardless of events in Iraq and Syria. In fact, as the pressure mounts on ISIL, we judge that it will intensify as global terror campaign to maintain its dominance of the global terrorism agenda.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham goes ON THE RECORD.

Nice to see you, senator.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SC: Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator John McCain said earlier today that President Obama is directly responsible for Orlando attack, but then he clarified it a little bit later in a tweet saying, "To clarify, I was referring to President Obama's national security decisions that have led to the rise of ISIL, not to the president himself."

GRAHAM: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: Where are you on this?

GRAHAM: Well, John is right about that. There would be no ISIL without Obama's decision to leave Iraq.

To our soldiers who fought in Iraq, you did your job. The surge did work. Al Qaeda in Iraq, which is the predecessor to ISIL was on their knees. The military advised President Obama to leave 10,000 troops in Iraq, and we can stabilize it. He pulled them all out.

Four years ago, his national security team said help the free Syrian army when Assad is on the ropes. If you don't, the terrorist will fill in the vacuum.

So the decision to abandon Iraq, not help free the Syrian army three or four years ago, gave ISIL a foothold in Syria and Iraq. And the rest is history.

So Barack Obama is to blame for the rise of ISIL. He has dismantled the ability to defend this country. We no longer interrogate terror suspects. We read them their rights and put them in federal court. We're going to have less FBI agents in 2017 than we did in 2013. In that regard, I blame President Obama.

VAN SUSTEREN: The way I look at this, going back a number of years, I look at this like cancer in the body. If you get the first little tumor before it metastasize to the brain, to the lungs and everything else.

In the last several years, ISIS is not just on the battlefield. We've had James Foley, of course, an American beheaded. We've had Charlie Hebdo. We've had Paris last November 13. We've had Belgium. We've had San Bernardino. We've had now Orlando, everything on -- at least inspired by ISIS, if not direct --

GRAHAM: Can I add one?

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes.

GRAHAM: Libya.

This president undersells the threats. He says there is no evidence this man was directed by ISIL. ISIL is still strong in the minds of twisted people like this. They still follow al-Baghdadi's call to attack in place. So, without a caliphate, without al-Baghdadi having land and control, he would not be a winner in the eyes of this crazy guy in Orlando.

So it was a directed attack in the sense that people like this man believe ISIL, they are winners.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, Secretary Clinton said earlier this week in her speech, she said that we need to destroy ISIS, which I agree instead of contain.

I saw that as a reference to the president's foreign policy.

GRAHAM: Yes, it is a rebuke of his foreign policy. His goal is to destroy ISIL.

Here's the one thing I can promise you. When his term is over, ISIL will still be in Iraq and Libya.

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes. If you listen to his CIA director, the war has escalated. The war has escalated.

GRAHAM: The interview should be that you got a president who doesn't want to escalate the war. The enemy is getting stronger and we are getting weaker.

And Brennan is saying, in spite of what you hear from the president, I'm being overloaded in terms of trying to protect the nation from ISIL fighters, no matter what the president is telling me about Iraq and Syria.

There are more of these guys than I can handle. They're going to be less FBI agents in 2017 than they were in 2013. We are destroying our defense budget.

Brennan is telling you that the president is not being honest with you about the nature of the threat. We're actually being overwhelmed. We are not winning.

VAN SUSTEREN: You see he's not been honest. Is he lying?

GRAHAM: I think he is delusional about the status of ISIL. And I think he intentionally underestimates the threat because he is trying to show that his policies are working, when they are not.

He has this model of trying to lead from behind. It is collapsing. There are going to be more attacks in America, because when we capture somebody under President Obama, we read them their rights, rather than gathering intelligence.