Without naming names, President Joe Biden voiced his support for the Trump-era Abraham Accords but then turned right around and falsely accused his predecessor of “walking away from our influence in the Middle East.”
“We will also continue building on the Abraham Accords, which I strongly support because they deepen, they deepen Israel’s integration into the broader region and establish lasting ties for business, cooperation and tourism,” the president said during a press conference Thursday afternoon in Jerusalem, according to The Hill.
He later added, “I think we have an opportunity to reassert what I think we’ve made a mistake of walking away from, our influence in the Middle East.”
Listen to the latter below:
Biden claims Trump “made a mistake of walking away from our influence in the Middle East”
FACT: President Trump’s historic Abraham Accords continues to bring unprecedented peace and security to the Middle East. pic.twitter.com/9jK9h0BOCC
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 14, 2022
It sounded as if the president was essentially trying to take credit for the Abraham Accords, which The Hill notes “were a signature Trump administration achievement” that helped normalize relations between Israel and some of its neighbors.
And indeed, Politico noted in a report published Wednesday that the president is unlikely to utter Trump’s name even once while in Israel. But, the outlet continued, there’s no escaping his influence vis-a-vis the events in the Middle East.
“Biden can’t escape the legacy that Donald Trump left behind. It was there at the entrance of the King David hotel, where Biden is staying and where the last president’s gaudy signature is smack in the middle of the lobby,” Politico reported.
“Despite their smiles and handshakes, it’s not lost on Israeli and other Middle Eastern officials that Trump made the region the scene of his first foreign trip, while Biden waited a year and a half into his presidency to stop by,” the outlet added.
Biden praises Abraham Accords without mentioning President Trump
— Raybert76 (@raybert761) July 14, 2022
Improved relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel is a foreign policy win of Trump. Now Biden is trying to take credit for it after the Ukraine debacle.
— Ranjith Kumar (@KumarC786) July 14, 2022
Biden getting an award in Israel. They mention the Abraham Accords that President Trump is responsible for!!! The insanity of rewriting history.
— Jennifer Rote (@wildnmild4u) July 14, 2022
This isn’t the first time Biden’s sought to take credit. After former President Donald Trump brokered the deal in late 2020, then-Democrat presidential nominee Biden claimed the accord was the byproduct of the “efforts of multiple administrations.”
In response, then-President Trump slammed him.
“This is something we’ve been working very hard on and I see Sleepy Joe tried to claim credit for it and I’m trying to figure out how that one works,” he told reporters.
Yet despite Biden seemingly trying once again to take credit for the Abraham Accords, the fact remains that under his administration, the deal has somewhat faltered.
According to Trump-era State Department official Morgan Ortagus, the president hasn’t even assigned an envoy to the Abraham Accords yet.
I’m curious to see how these next few days play out.@JoeBiden has failed to appoint an envoy to the Abraham Accords since his inauguration- 16 months ago!
Now his admin is set to “lower expectations” on progress in the Mid East. Hard to get much lower! https://t.co/bOcmWSG2Rq
— Morgan Ortagus (@MorganOrtagus) July 13, 2022
Also, according to The Wall Street Journal, the White House has been trying to “lower expectations” surrounding the president’s current trip to the Middle East.
“U.S. officials framed the four-day trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia as an opportunity to strengthen ties and promote stability, including by bringing the two countries he is visiting closer together, while countering threats from Iran,” the Journal reported.
However, the paper continued, in recent days “White House officials have sought to lower expectations for the trip, contending that it could take months or longer to reach agreements to address high energy prices and establish normal relations between Israel and countries in the region like Saudi Arabia.”
“White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters traveling with the president that Mr. Biden intends to “demonstrate material progress” during the trip on issues like regional security, but he declined to explain how the administration defines success,” according to the Journal.
All this said, the president has earned a bit of praise for one thing. During the press conference in Jerusalem, he recognized the city as Israel’s capital.
“I am honored to be here, the capital of Israel,” President Biden says while holding a press conference with Prime Minister Lapid in Jerusalem.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) July 14, 2022
He also signed the Jerusalem Declaration on the US-Israel Strategic Partnership, which reaffirms “the unbreakable bonds between” the United States and Israel “and the enduring commitment of the United States to Israel’s security.”
Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” host Pete Hegseth was pleased by this development.
“[T]hings like recognizing Jerusalem as the capital and others in the Abraham accords, which the Trump administration accomplished, seem to be at least rhetorically continuing for the Biden administration. I’m heartened to see at least from this president at this moment a continuation of the bipartisan consensus of support of the state of Israel,” he said Thursday morning.
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