Skip to main content
Tags: donald trump | benjamin netanyahu | hezbollah | smart | terrorists | mike pence | ron desantis

Trump Takes Flak Over Bibi Criticism, Hezbollah Praise

By    |   Thursday, 12 October 2023 05:32 PM EDT

Republican front-runner and former President Donald Trump invited a rash of criticism Thursday in the aftermath of comments he made the night before, criticizing Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and calling the terrorist group Hezbollah "very smart."

Former Vice President Mike Pence, Liz Cheney, and the Biden administration joined Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in chiding Trump for his comments, which came Wednesday, days after the incursion by Hamas that has reportedly killed more than 1,300 Israelis.

Further, at least 27 Americans died and another 14 are unaccounted for.

Trump set off the backlash during a campaign stop in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Wednesday night. Trump said Netanyahu "let us down" in 2020, when Trump was president, for backing out of the assassination of the late Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. In a separate interview, Trump said Netanyahu was "not prepared, and Israel was not prepared" for the deadly attacks.

Going further, Trump called Hezbollah, the Lebanese terrorist organization, "very smart."

"Hezbollah aren't smart, they're evil," Pence told WGIR radio in New Hampshire on Thursday. "This is no time for the former president, or any other American leader to be sending any message other than America stands with Israel.

"And look, I know the former president was frustrated with Netanyahu; he's been critical over the last two years. ... I consider him a friend, and I'm proud of the relationship that America had under our administration with Israel," Pence added.

A White House spokesman Thursday called Trump's comments "dangerous and unhinged."

"It's completely lost on us why any American would ever praise an Iran-backed terrorist organization as 'smart,'" White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said.

DeSantis kicked off the criticism Wednesday night, posting, "it is absurd that anyone, much less someone running for President, would choose now to attack our friend and ally, Israel, much less praise Hezbollah terrorists as 'very smart.'"

The Trump campaign hit back at DeSantis.

"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. And now you look stupid, Ron."

At the campaign rally, Trump said Netanyahu had "been hurt very badly" by the intelligence failures ahead of the incursion by Hamas.

"He was not prepared. He was not prepared, and Israel was not prepared. And under Trump, they wouldn't have had to be prepared. You know, Hezbollah is very smart. They're all very smart," Trump said, adding Israel's enemies were "vicious, and they're smart, and boy, are they vicious."

Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi told Israel's Channel 13 that it is "shameful that a man like that, a former U.S. president, abets propaganda and disseminates things that wound the spirit of Israel's fighters and its citizens."

Cheney, the former Republican Wyoming lawmaker, called Trump "dangerous."

"After Hamas slaughters hundreds of Jewish families, and Israel confronts an unprecedented security crisis, Donald Trump attacks the Israeli govt and praises Hezbollah terrorists. Are Republicans really going to nominate this dangerous man to be President of the United States?" Cheney posted to X.

Mark Swanson

Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
Republican front-runner and former President Donald Trump invited a rash of criticism Thursday in the aftermath of comments he made the night before, criticizing Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and calling the terrorist group Hezbollah "very smart."
donald trump, benjamin netanyahu, hezbollah, smart, terrorists, mike pence, ron desantis
524
2023-32-12
Thursday, 12 October 2023 05:32 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
TOP

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved