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Trump criticizes White House for Houthi strikes

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Donald Trump blasted the Biden administration on Friday for conducting strikes against Houthi militants in Yemen Thursday night.

The former president took aim at the escalation in the Middle East and the controversy around Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s hospitalization.

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“So, let me get this straight. We’re dropping bombs all over the Middle East, AGAIN (where I defeated ISIS!), and our Secretary of Defence [sic], who just went missing for five days, is running the war from his laptop in a hospital room,” wrote Trump, the leading GOP presidential candidate, in a Truth Social post.

Austin was hospitalized on Jan. 1 with complications from a procedure to treat prostate cancer. The Pentagon didn’t notify top U.S. officials, including President Joe Biden, of the cancer diagnosis for several weeks or of the medical emergency for several days.

While Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks took over for three days in early January, Austin has since resumed his duties and was directed to order the strikes while working from the hospital.

In recent months, the Houthis have launched numerous drone and missile attacks on vessels in the Red Sea in retaliation against Israel’s ongoing offensive in Gaza. Those attacks have repeatedly drawn in American warships, and Washington has been under intensifying pressure to respond.

In the post, Trump also repeated criticisms of the Biden administration for its botched withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 and the migrant crisis at the southern border.

His comments came as some lawmakers also railed on the administration for conducting the Houthi strikes without congressional approval.

Fellow GOP presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, however, said Biden didn’t violate the constitution by bypassing Congress.

“These are stateless actors. I think they’re operating outside the traditional laws of armed conflict. And I think you have a right to ensure that commerce continues and that they’re not allowed to just bomb ships and do and do other things,” he said at an event in Iowa on Thursday, according to Florida Politics.

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