The White House condemned Donald Trump for calling Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah “very smart” and for criticizing Israel’s defense minister amid Israel-Hamas war.
In a statement, White House spokesman Andrew Bates 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.’ Or have any objection to the United States warning terrorists not to attack Israel,” Bates said. “Especially now as Israel is fighting back against one of the worst acts of mass murder in the country’s history.”
“This is a time for all of us to stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel against ‘unadulterated evil,’” he added. “That’s what the President is doing as commander in chief.”
Trump, the leading candidate for the GOP nomination for president, made the comments at a rally in West Palm Beach, Florida.
“Two nights ago, I read all of Biden’s security people who said, ‘Gee, I hope Hezbollah doesn’t attack Israel from the north because that’s the most vulnerable spot,” Trump said. “I said, ‘Wait a minute, Hezbollah is very smart'”.
Trump also attacked Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant calling him “a jerk.”
“They have a national defense minister or somebody saying, ‘I hope Hezbollah doesn’t attack us from the north.’ So the following morning, they attacked” Trump said. “If you listen to this jerk, you would attack from the north because he said, ‘That’s our weak spot.’”
Trump’s opponent in the GOP primary, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, also criticized the former president for his comments.
More than 1,200 civilians and Israeli troops were killed in a series of attacks on Saturday by the Hamas militant group. 25 Americans were also killed in the attack.