ICYMI—Hagerty Joins Mornings With Maria on Fox Business to Discuss Biden Funding Both Sides of Israel-Hamas War, Emergency Funding Request

November 28, 2023

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Appropriations and Foreign Relations Committees and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, today joined Mornings With Maria on Fox Business to discuss his op-ed highlighting President Joe Biden funding both sides of the Israel-Hamas war and the need to make real border policy changes to secure the southern border.

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Partial Transcript

Hagerty on Biden funding both sides of the Israel-Hamas war: “You’ve got the Biden Administration that is saying one thing and yet doing another. It’s fairly typical for their foreign policy. What the Biden Administration is doing, and has continued to do, is send ‘humanitarian aid’ to the Palestinians, including to Gaza. When I was [in Israel], right after the 11-day war [in] May of 2021, Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu and his staff briefed me on what Hamas leadership was doing with those funds. They take the funds—they called them ‘taxation’—they take the funds, they take any produce that comes in, even take pipes and infrastructure and turn those into bombs and weapons and rockets that they use to launch right back into Israel. We’re funding both sides of the war—I had Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken in front of me just a few weeks ago—and I asked him point blank: Can you assure me that the humanitarian aid that we’ve sent to Hamas has not been used as weapons to come back to Israel? He couldn’t do that. So we’re funding both sides of that war the same way we’re doing in Ukraine.”

Hagerty on Biden’s funding request for so-called border security not actually securing the southern border: “I think [Senator Chuck] Schumer’s going to find out it’s well beyond just some Republicans. It’s all Republicans [that] want to see this border fixed now. It’s a complete catastrophe; the Biden Administration continues to look the other way. The greatest national security crisis we face right now, Maria—and you’ve been the best of all reporting this—is what’s happening at our southern border. So, if Chuck Schumer wants to send funds to Ukraine to help them defend their border, he’s going to have to certainly deal with the fact that Republicans want to see our own borders enforced. So, I don’t know where Chuck Schumer gets this notion that it’s just some Republicans; it’s all of us that want to see this fixed.”

Hagerty on Democrats’ wanting to put conditions on Israel aid: “I’m not surprised. It’s this both-sidesism that the Biden Administration’s trying to pursue with respect to Israel. What we saw happen on October 7th was a complete disaster. It was a humanitarian crisis beyond proportion; nothing like this has happened since the Holocaust. Yet, they want to come back and create this sort of equivocation and moral equivalence, suggesting that the Israelis are the ones that are at fault here. I think that’s not the case at all; we should be very clear. We’re not imposing those sorts of conditions on Ukraine aid; why would they try to impose these types of conditions on Israel? They’re there [presently]; they know best what to do. We need to deal with this—we need to deal with it quickly—yet the Democrats want to wring their hands and try to, again, play both sides of this issue.”

Hagerty on the need to secure the southern border through policy change: “What [Democrats] need to realize is that the border has to be addressed. And the Republicans have had it—we’re at a point now where I think the House [of Representatives] has spoken very clearly about this—we need to speak clearly about this here in the Senate as well. We should not move forward at all until we have [a] serious resolution of the situation at the border. And that has not come from the Democrats at all. They’ve talked about it, they’ve talked around it, but they’re going to have to address it head-on—particularly if they want to address the situation in Ukraine—they’re going to have to deal with the situation at the border. I think there’s been [a] broad consensus on Israel—we saw the bill that came over from the House—they’re ready to move on it. I think we’re ready to move on it here in the Senate; that’s bipartisan. But to address the situation at the border, we’ve got to get our heads together here. Republicans are united in terms of wanting to see the border fixed now.”

Hagerty on DHS prioritizing woke policies over stopping illegal immigration: “It’s incredible. We have an invasion at our southern border, and we’ve got the Department of Homeland Security working on their pronouns, just like they’re working on their pronouns over at the Department of Defense. We should be focused on lethality at the Department of Defense, effectiveness. The same at our southern border; we should be protecting our border, not worrying about pronouns as we invite people into the country. The Biden Administration, again, has everything upside down.”