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David Cohen

I've lost confidence in Lloyd Austin, Lindsey Graham says

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday he has lost confidence in Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin because of his recent comments about the Israel-Hamas war.

“He's so naïve. I mean, I just lost all confidence in this guy,” the South Carolina Republican said on CNN’s “State of the Union” in response to a question in which host Dana Bash characterized Austin as saying that Israel’s tactics are turning civilians in Gaza into future enemies.

In remarks Saturday in California, Austin said, “The lesson is that you can only win in urban warfare by protecting civilians.” He said Israel could turn a military victory into defeat by not doing its best to protect civilians in Gaza.

“Strategic defeat would be inflaming the Palestinians? They're already inflamed,” Graham continued. “They're taught from the time they're born to hate the Jews and to kill them. They're taught math: If you have 10 Jews and kill six, how many would you have left?”

Bash circled back to Graham’s statement, and Graham doubled down.

“I like Secretary Austin, but this war has shown to me … if we were attacked like this, which we were on 9/11, if somebody called for us within two months to have a cease-fire against Al Qaeda, we would have laughed them out of town, we would have run them out of town. Secretary Austin is telling Israel things that are impossible to achieve,” Graham said.

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