Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., went into meltdown mode with Newsmax’s Israel correspondent, Daniel Cohen, during a Sunday press conference in Tel Aviv.
At the conference Cohen asked the senators why there was not a stronger condemnation, especially of those on the left like Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who have failed to condemn Hamas’ attacks.
Cohen told the senators that Tlaib’s “tweet is still up condemning Israel for a hospital attack we know was a lie.”
At that point, Graham, who held the podium with nine U.S. senators standing behind him, blew his gasket.
“We are here together, not to talk about the problems at home, which are many,” an angry Graham said, pointing his finger at Cohen.
“I’ve got my own view of what to say — you’re not going to screw this up,” Graham continued.
When Cohen interjected he was asking a “fair question,” Graham again raised his voice.
“You’re not going to screw this up,” he said.
The senator then pointed to security and yelled for them to remove Cohen.
“Get this guy out of here!” Graham said.
The Israeli security ignored Graham’s request.
A flustered Graham then explained himself, “I am an American, I believe in free speech” — ironically just a moment after ordering Cohen be ejected from the press conference.
Graham then said he didn’t agree with the Squad’s views.
“But I came here with Democrats and Republicans to let everyone in the world know: Don’t judge every Democrat by the Squad, and don’t judge every Republican by some of the things you hear,” he said.
Tlaib and Omar are under fire for blaming the Israeli military for an explosion at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, siding with data from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry over U.S. intelligence.
“Israel just bombed the Baptist Hospital killing 500 Palestinians (doctors, children, patients) just like that,” Tlaib posted on X, citing Hamas’ side of the story.
U.S. officials currently believe a rocket misfire from a Palestinian militant group caused the explosion.
“I live here. I’m an Israeli. I want an answer to the question,” Cohen, a U.S. and Israeli citizen, said.
Graham eventually apologized to Cohen for the comment, attributing it to “raw” emotions surrounding the high stakes in the region.
Speaking later about the exchange, Cohen said the delegation “genuinely” wants to help but expressed his disappointment that most were still incapable of condemning the pair.
After the conference, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, took a markedly different tone than Graham.
“It’s very hard for me to understand why a member of Congress or anyone would not condemn what Hamas has done,” Collins told Newsmax.
After reciting a litany of Hamas’ atrocities involved in the killing of over 1,400 innocent Israelis, Collins said that “these acts should not be hard to condemn.”
Graham and Collins were at the briefing alongside Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; Cory Booker, D-N.J.; Katie Britt, R-Ala.; Ben Cardin, D-Md.; Chris Coons, D-Del.; Jack Reed, D-R.I.; Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska; and John Thune, R-S.D.