Trump and Other 2024 Republican Candidates Blame Biden for Hamas Attacks on Israel: “Projecting Weakness”
Republican candidates for president in 2024 have accused the Biden administration of being partially to blame for the attacks that Hamas militants launched against Israel on October 7. They have alleged that the tragic events are evidence of American weakness abroad.
A few of them insisted—though without providing any proof—that the United States was behind the attacks. The Republican candidates think that the $6 billion in oil revenue that the Biden administration just unfroze as a result of a prisoner exchange with Iran—which has long supported Hamas—was used to fund these militant strikes against Israel.
"These Hamas attacks are a disgrace and Israel has every right to defend itself with overwhelming force. Sadly, American taxpayer dollars helped fund these attacks, which many reports are saying came from the Biden Administration," former President Donald Trump said in a statement, per NBC News. According to Trump, who has been leading the GOP primary race, Biden has "whittled" away the peace in the Middle East after his administration produced "so much peace to the Middle East through the Abraham Accords."
All of the money held in restricted accounts in Doha as part of the arrangement to secure the release of 5 Americans in September remains in Doha. Not a penny has been spent.— Under Secretary Brian Nelson (@UnderSecTFI) October 7, 2023
Vivek Ramaswamy, the second top contender per many polls, took to X and said, "America’s broken foreign policy establishment knew they were funding Hamas & went ahead with it anyway. The unprecedented $6BN ransom paid to Iran last month worsened it: our taxpayer dollars are funding Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah. This will end on Day 1 of my administration."
On October 7 in the morning, former Vice President Mike Pence, another GOP candidate attacked the Biden administration and other Republicans in remarks at the start of an event in Glenwood, Iowa. "This is what happens when America’s president projects weakness on the world stage, kowtows to the mullahs in Iran with a $6 Billion ransom, and leaders in the Republican Party signal American retreat as Leader of the Free World. Weakness arouses Evil."
I can't comment on 2024 because of the Hatch Act. But I can clarify the facts: Not a single cent from these funds has been spent, and when it is spent, it can only be spent on things like food and medicine for the Iranian people.— Adrienne Watson (@NSC_Spox) October 7, 2023
However, the Biden administration rejected the GOP criticism, claiming that the $6 billion in oil revenue that Iran recently regained access to was not funded by American taxpayers. "All of the money held in restricted accounts in Doha as part of the arrangement to secure the release of 5 Americans in September remains in Doha. Not a penny has been spent," Treasury Undersecretary Brian Nelson tweeted. "These restricted funds cannot go to Iran — it can only be used for future humanitarian-related purposes. Any suggestion to the contrary is false and misleading."
Adrienne Watson, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, stated in a post on X that none of the funds have been used yet. "I can’t comment on 2024 because of the Hatch Act. But I can clarify the facts: Not a single cent of these funds has been spent, and when it is spent, it can only be spent on things like food and medicine for the Iranian people. These funds have absolutely nothing to do with the horrific attacks today and this is not the time to spread disinformation," she wrote.
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