On Tuesday, President Donald Trump held a White House press conference in which he discussed the U.S military actions in the Middle East. However, Trump lumped ISIS together with Hezbollah, a political partner of Syrian leaders. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who is a partner as well, was standing the next to him during the address.
Is Trump Confused or Lying?
During his address, President Trump praised the Lebanese government for their efforts in the fight against Islamic extremism. However, he went on to throw the Hezbollah group in with the terrorists he was criticizing. He said:
Lebanon is on the front lines in the fight against ISIS, al-Qaida and Hezbollah. The Lebanese people, of all faiths, are working together to keep – and you know this, and we’ve been discussing this at great length – their country safe and prosperous.
Next to him listening, stood Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri who is a political partner of the group. While Washington considers Hezbollah a terrorist group due to its growing numbers and access to arms, it is a fact that Hezbollah is deeply involved with the Lebanese government. Hezbollah is backing the country’s president, and Hariri himself has experienced the political power of the group. They had previously brought down the Lebanese government headed by Hariri, so the situation is still delicate.
Reporters asked if Trump did not understand the role of the group, but Hariri side stepped the question and stated that the president had been informed about Hezbollah before the address.
Essentially, no one knows if the president was blatantly lying or confused facts with regards to the Middle East situation.
More False Promises from Trump
It is interesting to notice that despite this error, Trump went on to promise he would make some decisions on Wednesday on Hezbollah sanctions which are already under consideration in Congress. However, no such sanctions exist, and the sanctions bill is not due to vote until September.
Meanwhile, Hariri stays in Washington to garner support from Congress as Lebanon struggles to cope with the Syrian refugees.
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