Lindsey Graham Criticizes Donald Trump for ‘Hezbollah Is Smart’ Remark, Applauds Joe Biden’s Stance
Longtime Donald Trump ally Senator Lindsey Graham praised Joe Biden and chastised Trump on Israel. In response to Hamas' strike, the South Carolina Republican applauded President Biden for his support of Israel and chastised Donald Trump for labeling Hezbollah as "very smart," claiming it was a "huge mistake," Newsweek reported.
"I want to applaud President Biden for his strong statement in support of Israel," he said, in an October 15 interview for NBC News' Meet the Press. "I just got off the phone with Israelis. Their goal is to destroy Hamas in the south and try to save as many innocent Palestinians as possible, to prevent escalation north from Hezbollah."
In a speech on October 10, Biden asserted that Israel not only had the right but also the obligation to protect itself against the "pure unadulterated evil" that is being carried out by Hamas, a Palestinian militant group that the US has classified as a terrorist organization.
At a rally in Palm Beach, Florida, the next day, Trump took a completely opposite tack and praised Hezbollah, a militant Islamist group in Lebanon that the United States also classifies as a terrorist organization. "Hezbollah is very smart, and they [Biden administration] have a National Defense minister saying 'I hope Hezbollah doesn't attack us from the north.' So the following morning, they attacked," Trump, the 2024 GOP frontrunner presidential primary, said. "They might not have been doing it, but if you listen to this jerk, you would attack from the north because he said that's our weak spot."
Graham is the most recent Republican to attack former President Trump for seemingly endorsing the Iran-backed militant group. When asked about Trump's statements on the NBC show, Graham, a longtime Trump admirer, admitted, "That was a huge mistake."
He explained, "If I were President Trump, I'd talk about being the strongest president for Israel in modern times. He issued a statement two days ago, 'I stand with Bibi. I stand with Israel.' Yeah, it was a mistake. He's on the right track, but Biden's administration's border policies are failing and their policies against Iran are failing."
Trump has drawn backlash in recent days for his remarks about Hezbollah. Republican presidential hopefuls Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie, and former Vice President Mike Pence have all reacted angrily to Trump's remarks, per The Hill.
The Trump campaign has attempted to distance itself from the remarks, claiming that simply calling Hezbollah "smart" does not imply that he was endorsing the organization. “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. It just proves Biden is stupid,” read a post from Trump's campaign account on X, formerly known as Twitter.
.@Timodc asks Nikki Haley if Trump has the moral clarity to lead.— Republican Accountability (@AccountableGOP) October 14, 2023
Haley: "I think to go and give credit to Hezbollah...and to go and criticize the head of a country who just saw massive bloodshed. No, that's not what we need in a president." pic.twitter.com/vfxFCNPWw0
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