Ted Cruz Slams Jen Psaki Over Her Answer On If Biden Will ‘Commit To Replenishing The Iron Dome’

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) slammed the Biden administration on Friday after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki appeared to sidestep a question on whether the administration would commit to replenishing Israel’s Iron Dome missiles, which fired hundreds this week as it defended itself from rocket attacks launched by Palestinian terrorist organizations inside Gaza.

Cruz responded to the following interaction that Psaki had with a reporter during a press briefing:

REPORTER: First, 1,500 rockets from Gaza going toward Israel. The Iron Dome has taken down many, many rockets. That’s cost a lot of munitions. Is the U.S. going to help Israel replenish the Iron Dome?

PSAKI: Well, I don’t have anything to preview in terms of additional assistance. I will say that we have an important relationship, partnership — strategic security relationship with Israel. As you know, we have provided a range of support over the last several years and even decades, including the Iron Dome, but I don’t have anything to preview in terms of additional support.

REPORTER: But you won’t commit to replenishing the Iron Dome? You don’t have anything you —

PSAKI: I don’t have anything to preview for you in terms of additional support. We’ve long been a supporter, both in terms of our partnership, but also our security assistance that we have provided to Israel. That’s been consistent. Nothing has changed in regard to that approach, and I don’t expect it would, moving forward.

Cruz, who called on Biden yesterday to replenish the Iron Dome missiles, responded to Psaki’s remarks on Twitter, calling her statements “disgraceful.”

“Joe Biden must show decisive presidential leadership, including by replenishing Israel’s Iron Dome missiles,” Cruz tweeted. “This answer is not just completely unacceptable, it’s disgraceful.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

REPORTER: First, 1,500 rockets from Gaza going toward Israel. The Iron Dome has taken down many, many rockets. That’s cost a lot of munitions. Is the U.S. going to help Israel replenish the Iron Dome?
 
PSAKI: Well, I don’t have anything to preview in terms of additional assistance. I will say that we have an important relationship, partnership — strategic security relationship with Israel. As you know, we have provided a range of support over the last several years and even decades, including the Iron Dome, but I don’t have anything to preview in terms of additional support.
 
REPORTER: But you won’t commit to replenishing the Iron Dome? You don’t have anything you —
 
PSAKI: I don’t have anything to preview for you in terms of additional support. We’ve long been a supporter both in terms of our partnership, but also our security assistance that we have provided to Israel. That’s been consistent. Nothing has changed in regard to that approach, and I don’t expect it would, moving forward. 
 
REPORTER: On April 7th, the State Department announced that it had unlocked $75 million in economic assistance to the West Bank and Gaza.
 
PSAKI: Mm-hmm.
 
REPORTER: Is that being reviewed in light of the rocket attacks coming from Gaza into Israel?
 
PSAKI: No. That was humanitarian assistance the — to the Palestinian people. Again, Hamas is a terrorist organization. The Palestinian people are also suffering as a result of the actions of this terrorist organization, and the steps — the — the rockets that they have launched into Israel. So, no, the humanitarian assistance will, of course, continue.
 
REPORTER: And what specific steps has President Biden taken to help de-escalate the conflict?
 
PSAKI: Well, I went through this a little bit the other day, but let me — let me go through some of it. First, as you know, the president obviously has had his own conversations — conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu. We’ve had dozens of high-level calls and meetings with senior U.S. officials and with senior officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, our Arab partners, and other stakeholders. Our National Security Advisor has spoken with his counterpart in Israel multiple times. We’ve had regular dialogue multiple times per day with Egyptian and Qatari officials. So we have been incredibly engaged at the highest level here from the federal government. As you know, sometimes those conversations need to take place privately. And we, of course, want to convey who we’re talking to and what we — the messages we’re conveying, but we’re not going to read out every single conversation either.
 
REPORTER: Is President Biden just trying to stay out of it?
 
PSAKI: I think that what I just outlined makes clear that he’s asked his team to not only keep him updated and abreast of what’s happening on the ground, but to be deeply engaged with the Israelis, the Palestinians, and also with leaders and partners in the region to work toward a more lasting peace.
 
REPORTER: But when he said this week that it was going to be closing down sooner rather than later, what was the indication from his conversations with Netanyahu that that would be the case?
 
PSAKI: Well, that was certainly our hope. And obviously, what happened, I think, earlier this week is that assurances from Hamas that they were prepared to stand down proved to be false. And we certainly understand that that can happen in these conflicts, but we still need to stay at it and remain engaged with all of the parties in the region.

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