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ICYMI: Rounds Joins Varney & Co. to Discuss Pres. Biden Halting Aid to Israel, Inflation Report

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) joined Stuart Varney on Fox Business’ Varney & Co. to discuss the Biden Administration’s decision to pause munitions aid to Israel and the mixed messaging it sends to Israel and Hamas. Rounds also discusses high inflation rates and rising prices as the April inflation report showed prices higher than expected.

The full clip can be viewed here.


Varney: Joining me here in New York City is Senator Mike Rounds, Republican from the great state of South Dakota. Mr. Senator, you and a group of I think it's over 100 lawmakers, you're demanding that President Biden resume weapons shipments to Israel. Can you make him do it?

Rounds: We can't make him do it. But we can most certainly send a message to our allies, the Israelis, that we do not support the way that he has taken on this particular tactic. Number one, he is telling them how they should run their war. But second of all, he is also then releasing that information of a private conversation to the world. And in doing so, he is sending a message to Hamas, which gives them an opportunity to play with it in order to send the message to the rest of the world that the United States support for Israel is failing, and that the protests over here are working. And that that support is something that Israelis should not be taking for granted.

Varney: The people in Taiwan, the people in Ukraine will surely be looking at this weapons pause for our greatest ally in the Middle East. They can’t have a very positive view of American leadership.

Rounds: It's not only that, but think about what Putin thinks about this, and think about what Xi Jinping thinks about this. When they go to their allies, they look at the United States, and they say ‘this is not the way that we will treat our allies.’ And so as we work with other countries in the developing parts of the world, in Africa, and so forth, we want them to know that if we become their ally, that we remain their ally, and that we are consistent. But when you start leaking information like this about something as serious as munitions, that's something that should never happen. And it's not something that the administration, if it was an accidental leak, they should have fixed immediately. And if it was on purpose, shame on them.

Varney: Do you think that President Biden is in effect helping Hamas?

Rounds: It did not help Israel, and most certainly empowered Hamas, to continue with the propaganda. What a marvelous opportunity for Hamas to send a message to their supporters that, look, you've had a difference, you've made a difference, the United States is now slowing down on their munitions deliveries to Israel at a critical time in the history of this country. And look, these bombs that are coming in, these munitions, these are munitions that are designed to be used on a selective basis, specifically for targets that need this type of an approach. And we've got bombs that are as accurate as any made in the world. But if you now restrict Israel from having access to those types of materials, they have to resort to other materials instead. And this war has gone on long enough. Israel needs to get in, clean this mess up and get out. And the sooner that happens, the better for people that live in Gaza.

Varney: In about one hour, the President’s going to give a big speech touting the economy. But inflation is still with us. I wonder how he's going to spin the inflation problem, which was already seen this morning. Inflation ticked up yet again. How's he going to spin this?

Rounds: I have no idea. But prices are up since, I mean, look, his time in office, inflation is up over 18%. Groceries are up over 20%. Gasoline is up over 37%. The American people aren't stupid. They understand that. The facts are there.

Varney: The President says it's corporate greed. That's what he says.

Rounds: It’s not.

Varney: Were you happy with that answer?

Rounds: It is not. Look, on day one, he sent a message to every investor in traditional energy by canceling a pipeline coming out of Canada. Billions of dollars in investment. And he turned around and looked at every investor out there and said, ‘I can change all of your investments with the stroke of a pen.’ What a terrible message that sends to investors across not just the United States, but around the world about whether or not they want to invest in the types of traditional energy sources we've got in the United States. And that has continued all the way through on our supply chain challenges. And now if you're going to take a look at what he has pushed, he's pushed it saying, ‘well, we're going to use alternatives.’ But if you want electric vehicles, first of all, you ought to have an infrastructure that can support it, which we do not have. Second of all, what about the energy production that we should have, that we do not have, for electricity that we're going to need in the future? And he hasn't even talked about the demand that AI is going to take in terms of additional energy production. He is not looking at the big picture.

Varney: Electric vehicles don't look good in the wide open spaces of South Dakota, do they?

Rounds: Particularly when batteries don't operate very well in cooler temperatures.

Varney: And it gets cool in South Dakota.

Rounds: It does. It does.

Varney: Senator Rounds. Thanks for joining us this morning.