Speaker Mike Johnson defends advancing standalone Israel bill White House dismisses ploy
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan criticized Johnson's letter on NBC's "Meet the Press." House Speaker Mike Johnson defended his push for Israel aid.
Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, criticized House Speaker Mike Johnson's letter on NBC's "Meet the Press" shortly before. Johnson defended his push for a stand-alone bill to provide aid to Israel after the Senate reached a tentative immigration deal that it plans to vote on this week.
During his interview on "Meet the Press," Johnson was asked by moderator Kristen Welker if he proposed the stand-alone Israel aid package to kill the compromise deal in the Senate. He denied this, stating that the House has been clear about its requirements and the need to solve the problem at the border. Johnson emphasized the urgency of taking care of the Israel situation due to recent escalations, such as U.S. airstrikes targeting Iran-backed militant groups in retaliation for the killing of three American soldiers.
Prior to Johnson's appearance, national security adviser Jake Sullivan expressed that the Biden administration viewed the letter as a "ploy." He emphasized that the House's efforts were not seen as a serious attempt to address the national security challenges America faces.
Sullivan did not directly address whether President Joe Biden would sign a standalone Israel aid bill. However, the National Security Council's coordinator for strategic communications, John Kirby, previously indicated that Biden would not, stating that "The president would veto an only-Israel bill. We -- I think that we've made that clear."