ICYMI—Hagerty Joins Varney & Company on Fox Business to Discuss Biden Admin Calling for Ceasefire in Gaza, PM Kishida’s Visit

April 7, 2024

NASHVILLE, TN—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, joined Varney & Company on Fox Business to discuss the Biden Administration calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, as well as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s upcoming official visit to Washington.

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Partial Transcript

Hagerty on a ceasefire being a win for Hamas: “I certainly think that Hamas will declare that they’ve won, Stuart, if that’s the case. And it’s been interesting; President [Joe] Biden at the very outset of this war basically said the right thing, that the United States stands with Israel. But what’s happened is his far left has continued to pull and pull and pull, and what we’ve seen is U.S. support erode. It’s very, very disturbing to me to see us not standing strong. President [Donald] Trump was always clear; put maximum pressure on Iran. They’re the funders of this—put maximum pressure on Hamas—we did not have this kind of challenge. What Hamas has done is they’ve used humans as shields there in Gaza. Those human shields have created a humanitarian disaster; that was part of their plan. Hamas has diverted food aid. Hamas are the ones that are responsible for this, and I think Hamas needs to be put out of business. They need to be put out of business quickly, and Joe Biden should stand behind that plan. President Trump certainly does […] Certainly, [the hostages are] their leverage, and I was shocked to hear that the call for ceasefire yesterday didn’t include the release of hostages by Hamas. We need to hold Hamas responsible for this; that’s where the pressure needs to be exerted.”

Hagerty on the Japanese Prime Minister’s visit to Washington: “It’s not a realignment, but it’s a continued showing of our relationship and how strong it is. This is the strongest alliance that we have in the Indo-Pacific region. The alliance has been critical to our relationship in that region for decades. When I served as Ambassador, we had the first state visit of the New Emperor. He invited President Trump to come. Again, an important showing of the alliance. This is an opportunity to show that in a reciprocal fashion. This is also the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-Japan digital trade deal, a very important deal for America and for Japan that shows our economic bonds. It’s the 64th anniversary of a security treaty that we signed with Japan. Again, these are strong bonds that need to be reinforced.”

Hagerty on China’s hostility in the Indo-Pacific region: “China has been hostile, and certainly before I arrived in 2017, China had been hostile at that point as well. They had encircled the Senkaku Islands in [the] East China Sea. They were all over the South China Sea. When President Trump came into office, we pushed back hard. We saw things change in that region, and China has now, unfortunately, particularly after the fall of Afghanistan, come back with a vengeance in that region; we’ve seen them in the Taiwan Strait like never before. So again, I think this is very critical that we show this alliance and the strength of it; North Korea needs to see it too.”