(DCWatchdog.com) – US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) slammed recent comments made by President Trump regarding the Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
During a campaign speech in Florida, Trump referred to Hezbollah, which the U.S. has designated as a terrorist organization, as “very smart.” This has attracted widespread criticism, with Graham being the latest in a series of Republicans to denounce these remarks.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” when Graham was questioned about Trump’s comments, he responded, “Yeah, that was a huge mistake. If I were President Trump, [I’d] talk about being the strongest president for Israel in modern times.” Graham highlighted Trump’s previous support for Israel, referencing a recent statement from the former president that read, “I stand with Bibi, I stand with Israel.”
Trump’s comments also led to rebukes from other GOP presidential hopefuls, including Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie, and former Vice President Mike Pence. The Trump campaign went on to clarify the statement, emphasizing that recognizing someone’s intelligence doesn’t equate to praising their actions. A tweet from the campaign’s “War Room” account said, “President Trump was clearly pointing out how incompetent Biden and his administration were by telegraphing to the terrorists an area that is susceptible to an attack. Smart does not equal good.”
Furthermore, Trump’s rightful criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu added fuel to the fire. He accused Netanyahu of “letting us down” in 2020 and being “not prepared” for the recent Hamas-led deadly attacks against Israel. Commenting on this, Graham said that the critique of Netanyahu was “not helpful.”
While clarifying his stance on Trump’s remarks, Graham underscored Trump’s achievements concerning Israel: “President Trump has a lot — he recognized Israel, Jerusalem as the capital. He recognized Golan Heights as part of Israel. He put in place Abraham Accords. That’s what I would say. No, I wouldn’t criticize Bibi.”
Amid this political back-and-forth, tensions in the Middle East continue to rise. Hezbollah and Israel have been in recent conflict, following an attack on Israel by Hamas. This escalating situation has resulted in the tragic loss of over 3,600 lives in both Israel and Gaza, including American citizens.