Republican senator Lindsey Graham says new Top Gun bomber jacket 'sucks'

Joe Sommerlad@JoeSommerlad
Wednesday 24 July 2019 13:45
Showbiz

You might think a powerful Republican senator like Lindsey Graham has more to do with his time than comment on forthcoming Hollywood blockbusters.

The South Carolina statesman is the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and is nominally supposed to spend his days probing grave matters like Russian election hacking and Chinese corporate espionage when he isn't sticking up doggedly for Donald Trump. That's the same President Trump, incidentally, whom Graham once dismissed as a "kook" unfit for office.

But here he is, taking questions from a TMZ reporter on Capitol Hill about the release next summer of Top Gun: Maverick, the long-delayed sequel to Tony Scott's classic Air Force thriller Top Gun (1986) starring Tom Cruise.

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Asked about Paramount Pictures' decision to strip the iconic bomber jacket worn by Cruise's ace pilot in the new film of their Taiwanese and Japanese flags - evident in its new trailer - Graham saw an opportunity to attack one of the studio's backers, the Chinese company Tencent.

The Asian tech giant was reported by CNN of having objected to the return of the decals on Maverick's signature jacket, prompting Senator Graham to lament:

That’s the power of Chinese money in the modern world that kind of sucks.

I hate to see the flag removed because of Chinese financing.

Asked whether he thought President Trump should weigh in on the matter, Graham said with a twinkly smile:

It's a private sector decision. There's nothing the government can do but I think it sucks.

Despite his disappointment, Graham confirmed he loved the original Top Gun and had actually once wanted to be a fighter pilot himself on the strength of its macho appeal.

But Senator Graham is such a slippery customer, I'm not even sure we can trust him on this.

Ask him next week and he'll probably tell you his favourite Tom Cruise film is Risky Business (1983), Days of Thunder (1990) or even Interview with a Vampire (1994).

More: Senator Graham jokes that a DNA test on him would reveal 'Iranian' heritage which would be 'like, terrible'

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