White House national security communications adviser John Kirby reacted to Iran’s direct attacks against Israel, in part by blaming former President Trump for supposedly emboldening Iran. 

Kirby sat down with Shannon Bream on “Fox News Sunday” to discuss the latest escalation in the Middle East under the Biden administration. Israel fended off a furious attack of over 300 drones and missiles launched at Israel from Iran, thwarting 99% of the attack with the help of neighbors and allies such as the U.S. 

The Biden administration has reportedly advised Israel against a retaliatory strike against Iran. 

“The weakness that we’ve shown [under the Biden administration], it’s unbelievable. And it would not have happened if we were in office, you know that,” Trump said Saturday. 

Bream pressed Kirby about the Biden administration’s policies to permit waivers on sanctions and unfreezing assets vis-à-vis Iran. Last month, the Biden administration re-approved a sanctions waiver to permit Iraq to purchase energy from Iran, effectively allowing the terrorist regime access $10 billion in funds. Kirby had said at the time the funds would not go to its “mullahs.” 

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“Could this administration have been tougher on Iran? Did it sense an opening?” Bream asked. 

“It’s hard to take a look at what President Biden has done and say that we have somehow gone soft on Iran,” Kirby responded. “It was the previous administration that decided to get us out of the Iran deal. And now Iran is so much dramatically closer to a potential nuclear weapon capability than they were before Mr. Trump was elected.”

Biden warned Friday that an attack by Iran on Israel was possible over the weekend, telling reporters his message to the Islamic Republic was “Don’t.”

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GOP senators criticized what they saw was – once again – Biden’s weakness on deterrence after the Iranian regime ignored his request. 

“So much for President Biden telling bad guys ‘Don’t’ actually being an effective deterrent. Every time he says ’Don’t,’ they do,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., wrote in a post on X Saturday.

“Under President Trump, Iran was broke. President Biden gifted them billions of dollars and then naively said ‘don’t,'” Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. said. “‘Don’t’ is not a foreign policy. Joe Biden’s policies have funded Iran’s attack on Israel.”

Bream pressed Kirby again on whether the White House was soft on Iran, and he again blamed Trump’s foreign policy. 

“Is it not fair to say, though, that there have been moves by this administration that have opened up cash and other opportunities for them, which we know are fungible in ways that are not helping the Iranian people, but are benefiting the elites and people there who chant ‘Death to America?,'” Bream asked. 

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Kirby responded saying, “The additional funds that have been made available to Iran due to the sanctions relief program that the Trump administration put in place, can only be used for humanitarian goods. It doesn’t go to the regime. And the idea that the regime was somehow felt like they were freed up to support these proxies because of that. It just doesn’t comport with the fact that they have been supporting these proxies for years.” 

He also claimed the money wasn’t “fungible.” 

“They can’t, they physically can’t do that,” Kirby said. 

Before Saturday’s attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country’s forces had for weeks “been preparing for the possibility of a direct attack from Iran.”

Biden said after the attack, “Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attack, sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel.” 

Fox News’ Michael Lee, Brooke Singman and Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.