Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is not one to play coy regarding his views on the Biden administration, and his Sunday appearance with Maria Bartiromo on "Sunday Morning Futures" was no exception. During their discussion, Cruz and Bartiromo addressed a wide range of topics centered around U.S. foreign policy, particularly in the context of the Israel-Hamas war. Cruz pulled no punches in calling out the Biden administration for its posture of appeasement, for essentially funding terrorism with its "relief" money to Gaza, and for effectively holding those who were kidnapped by Hamas hostage by insisting on tying further aid to Israel to aid to Ukraine.
Biden unlocked billions of dollars for Iran, which it funneled to Hamas in order to murder Israelis and Americans.— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) October 22, 2023
Biden's obsession with appeasement and funding terrorism is deadly.@MariaBartiromo and I discussed all this and more. pic.twitter.com/m4sCF6mkge
The entire segment is worth a watch, but I'll include some of the highlights below.
Bartiromo led off by asking Cruz what he and his colleagues could do in the face of the bloodshed perpetrated by Hamas. After laying out, in no uncertain terms, the evil visited upon the Israeli people by Hamas and their right to defend themselves, Cruz said:
"Now, going forward, there are several steps for U.S. policy. Number One: We need to cut off the funding that has enabled this attack to happen. And what is so infuriating is that over the last two-and-a-half years, Joe Biden and the Biden administration have flowed nearly $100 billion to Iran. Understand: Hamas is a proxy for Iran. Without Iran, there would be no Hamas. And the Wall Street Journal has reported that this attack was planned by Iran, was funded by Iran, was directed by Iran. And yet, the Biden administration continues to allow billions and billions of dollars to flow to the Ayatollah to be used to murder Israelis and to murder Americans."
Bartiromo, agreeing with his point, raised the fact that there are Iranian sympathizers working in the Biden administration. Both she and Cruz highlighted the fact that Rob Malley, who was fired and had his security clearances stripped — by an ideologically-driven Biden administration — and three of his top advisors, who were Iranian operatives, remain a grave threat to our national security.
Bartiromo pointed out that Iran's expressed hatred toward Israel and the U.S. was known while the negotiations were ongoing, yet the Biden administration continued to pursue an agreement, begging the question: Why?
You know, they have an ideological obsession. Number One, their approach to every enemy of America is appeasement. And that's true whether it's Russia; that's true whether it's China; that's true whether it's North Korea; that's true whether it's Venezuela; that's true whether it's Iran. Their response — I've gotta tell you — they have taught our enemies that the worse they are, the more money Joe Biden will give you.
You know, I mentioned the $100 billion, and it's worth focusing on that for a moment. A lot of folks now are talking about the $6 billion — the $6 billion got a lot of coverage. The Biden administration spent $6 billion that was essentially ransom money to free five American hostages. Now, at the time that happened, I said publically, many others said publically: "This is terrible policy. You're effectively putting a bounty on the heads of Americans. You're telling bad guys, 'We'll pay you $1.2 billion a person for every American hostage that you have.'" And I predicted at the time: "Our enemies will take more Americans hostage, and Iran, because of this bounty, will take more American hostages." They now have roughly 200 Israeli hostages and about a dozen American hostages. So, I'm sorry to say, that prediction came through within weeks.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg, in terms of the money that went to Iran. Before the $6 billion, the Biden administration sent $10 billion that went from Iraq to Iran. And the biggest pot of money deals with the refusal of the Biden administration to enforce oil sanctions. U.S. law puts tough oil sanctions on Iran. Biden came in, immediately stopped enforcing them. Today, Iran is selling two million barrels a day of oil. That has produced $80 billion, roughly, in revenue. That is funding these Hamas death squads. That is funding the rockets. That is funding terrorism.
And the Biden administration — something that he could do today — he gave a speech last week. You know what was not in the speech? Saying "We're going to enforce the oil sanctions; that we're going to cripple the Iranian regime and take away their money." That's still — Joe Biden and the Democrats have still proven unwilling to do.
Bartiromo then noted the maddening fact that while the Biden administration was negotiating to pay money for the return of the five hostages, the Iranian regime was helping plan an attack that resulted in over 200 hostages being taken (not to mention the 1,400-plus who were killed). "They unfroze the money...Hamas went in and took more hostages."
Bartiromo asked Cruz for his take on the nomination of Jack Lew, former Treasury Secretary under President Obama, as ambassador to Israel and whether the nomination will succeed. Cruz left little doubt as to where he stands on it, noting that Lew, as Treasury Secretary served as "one of the critical point people for negotiating and implementing the Obama-Iran Nuclear Deal," which hurt American interests and cost American lives.
Pivoting to President Biden's request for a funding package, tying the money going to Israel, Ukraine, and humanitarian aid for the Palestinians together, Bartiromo asked Cruz for his thoughts on the proposal and whether it will pass. Cruz blistered Biden for the ask:
I think it's a big mistake. I don't know if it'll pass. But what the Biden White House is doing and what Chuck Schumer is doing is deeply cynical. Israel military aid is enormously popular — there (is) big, bipartisan support for Israel military aid. He's taking the popularity of supporting Israel, and he's holding it hostage...The hostages are not just being held by Hamas — the hostages are also being held by the Biden White House because he's taking Israel and saying, "You can have Israel military aid if you pass everything I want on Ukraine, if you pass Biden's funding..." — he calls it border security funding, what it really is is funding to accelerate illegal immigration, to have more buses and more planes taking illegal immigrants to every city in America. And if you pass all of his priorities — it's a Christmas tree — then you can have Israel funding.
What we oughta do, is we oughta vote on a clean Israel funding bill that provides the military aid they need, the weapons, the ammunition, the additional munitions for Iron Dome and David's Sling and Arrow Two and Three — the missile defense system. If we voted on that, it would pass overwhelmingly. And I think Joe Biden and the Democrats need to stop playing games with Israel funding.
And you mentioned also, Maria, the funding for Gaza — this has been another indefensible step of this administration. Joe Biden has already sent hundreds of millions of dollars for Gaza. I led 17 senators saying, "Do not send that money because it will go to Hamas, and they will use it for terrorism." 145 Democrat congressmen sent a letter saying, "Do send that money, despite the fact that it will go to terrorism." And we now know — the Biden administration assessed the matter, and they agreed with me. They concluded that there was "a high likelihood" this money would go to Hamas and be used for terrorism, and then you know what they did? They waived U.S. anti-terrorism law, and they sent the money anyway. And what does Biden want to do now? Send more money to Gaza that will go to Hamas, that will be used to fund terrorism. It's the only thing they know how to do: funding terrorists. And it's a very, very bad idea.
Despite Cruz's protestations, it appears a majority of the Senate is inclined to support the proposed funding package — including some Republicans. How it will be addressed in the House, where they're still attempting to settle on a Speaker, remains to be seen.