Blackburn calls for ousting of National Security Advisor Sullivan over Middle East response

"Mr. Sullivan has routinely misled the entire government about the status of security threats around the world," Blackburn said.

Published: October 15, 2023 11:45am

Tennessee Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn on Sunday demanded President Joe Biden remove U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan from his position for his response to problems in the Middle East following the attack on Israel by Hamas terrorists backed by Iran.

"Mr. Sullivan has routinely misled the entire government about the status of security threats around the world. Just eight days before Hamas launched their barbaric surprise attack against Israel, he stated, 'the Middle East is quieter today than it has been in two decades,'" Blackburn said Friday.

At least 1,300 people died, including at least 29 U.S. citizens as well as women, children and the elderly, following Hamas' brutal terrorist attack in Israel last Saturday. At least 15 U.S. citizens are still missing, while Hamas claims to have about 100 people being held hostage.

When Sullivan was asked about those remarks Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," he said: "I made those comments in the context of developments in the wider Middle East region over the last few years. ... The sentence before what you just played, I said, in fact, that this was for now and that it could all change."

Blackburn also slammed Sullivan's response to Iran, after he worked to create the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal, which the Trump administration reversed and the Biden administration has been attempting to reestablish. 

"Easing sanctions against Iran and refusing to enforce others is not an effective solution, and this attack is clear evidence of that fact," Blackburn said.

His problematic decisions involving Iran, Hamas and Israel follow the mistakes he made with Afghanistan when the Taliban took over the country in August 2021, Blackburn said. 

"Sullivan’s deleterious mistakes with respect to Iran and Iran-backed Hamas only build on his earlier involvement in the administration’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. There, we stood by and watched the Taliban take over the country in less than two weeks," she said. "We cannot have someone with his notable history of poor decision-making, and lack of critical insights, as the most senior advisor to the President on our nation’s security matters."

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