Trump says Iran attack on Israel ‘would never have happened if I were president’

The former president’s exact policy on Israel and Gaza has been hazy at best

Katie Hawkinson
Washington, DC
Sunday 14 April 2024 21:44 BST
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Related video: Israel Defense Forces releases statement amidst Iranian attack

Donald Trump weighed in on Iran’s airstrike against Israel on Saturday evening.

“ISRAEL IS UNDER ATTACK,” the former president said on his social media platform, Truth Social. “This should never have been allowed to happen - This would NEVER have happened if I were President!”

Mr Trump’s comments come after the Israeli Defense Forces announced Iran had launched dozens of drones against Israel, set to arrive Saturday evening. President Joe Biden has since pledged his support for Israel.

Donald Trump, pictured on 2 April, said President Joe Biden is to blame for Iran’s attack on Israel
Donald Trump, pictured on 2 April, said President Joe Biden is to blame for Iran’s attack on Israel (REUTERS)

President Biden has been clear: our support for Israel’s security is ironclad,” National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson said on Saturday. “The United States will stand with the people of Israel and support their defense against these threats from Iran.”

The former president’s proposed policy on Israel’s offensive in Gaza, meanwhile, has been hazy at best,The Independent’s Richard Hall previously reported.

In the days after Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October, killing 1,200 people and taking more than 200 people hostage, Mr Trump offered his enthusiastic backing for Israel’s retaliatory offensive in Gaza. However, more recent comments from Mr Trump, coming after more than 33,000 Palestinians have been killed, could be interpreted as a sign that his unyielding support for Israel is not guaranteed.

“You’ve got to get it over with, and you have to get back to normalcy,” Mr Trump said in an interview with The Hugh Hewitt Show that aired earlier this month. The former president added that he wanted Israel to “get back to peace and stop killing people.”

On Truth Social, Mr Trump also inexplicably attacked Mr Biden for using a “taped” speech to address the people. However, Mr Biden has not addressed the nation since Iran launched their attack, and he is not expected to make any remarks on Saturday evening.

“AFTER READING MY TRUTH, BIDEN’S HANDLERS CONVINCED HIM NOT TO RELEASE HIS TAPED SPEECH ON ISRAEL,” Mr Trump wrote. “HE’LL NOW ATTEMPT TO DO IT LIVE, PROBABLY TOMORROW. HE DOESN’T WANT TO LEAVE HIS HOUSE, WITH THE CORVETTE, IN DELAWARE!!!”

Mr Biden had already left Delaware — his home state, where he was slated to spend the weekend — as of Saturday evening, cutting his trip short to handle the Iran crisis. The president is now in the White House, where an administration spokesperson said he would meet with his national security team.

President Joe Biden, pictured arriving at the White House on 13 April 2024, cut his trip to Delaware short
President Joe Biden, pictured arriving at the White House on 13 April 2024, cut his trip to Delaware short (AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson — a staunch ally to Mr Trump — has also attempted to pin Iran’s attacks on Mr Biden.

“The Biden Administration’s undermining of Israel and appeasement of Iran have contributed to these terrible developments,” Mr Johnson said in a statement on Saturday evening.

Tensions between Mr Netanyahu and Mr Biden have been on the rise in recent weeks.

This week, the president called for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza to allow humanitarian aid to reach Palestinians. However, he still appears poised to make an $18bn sale of fighter jets to Israel — a deal which the administration says has been in the making for years.

The Independent also exclusively reported this week that eight internal dissent memos were sent by US State Department staff during the first two months of the Gaza war, highlighting the widespread opposition within the department to the Biden administration’s support for Israel’s war in Gaza.

The former president is expected to speak at a campaign event in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania on Saturday evening, where he may comment further on the Iranian attacks.

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