A top adviser to President Biden is facing criticism over a comment he made shortly before the Hamas attacks on Israel.
Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that the Middle East was the calmest it has been in decades, bringing to the forefront other controversial foreign policy decisions the Biden adviser has been involved with over the last decade.
‘What we said is want to depressurize, de-escalate, and ultimately integrate the Middle East region,’ Sullivan said at ‘The Atlantic Festival’ on September 29.
‘The war in Yemen is in its 19th month of truce, for now the Iranian attacks against U.S. forces have stopped, our presence in Iraq is stable, I emphasize for now because all of that can change and the Middle East region is quieter today than it has been in two decades,’ he said.
Eight days later, Hamas launched an attack on Israel that killed at least 1,200 Israelis causing many conservatives to blast Sullivan’s comments on social media.
‘We are less safe with this Biden team,’ former Trump Acting Director of the United States National Intelligence Richard Grenell posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, in response to Sullivan’s comment.
Matthew Brodsky, senior fellow at the Gold Institute for International Strategy, wrote on X that Sullivan’s comment was an ‘outright lie at the time he said it.’
Sullivan has been at the center of several controversies in recent years, many of which have been brought up by conservatives on social media in light of his Middle East comment, including the Biden administration’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.
In the days following the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, Sullivan and the State Department were criticized for being unable to say exactly how many Americans had been left behind.
On August 22, 2021, more than a week after frenzied scenes of evacuating Afghans at the Kabul airport began to surface, Sullivan admitted that the administration did not know how many Americans were still in Afghanistan.
‘We cannot give you a precise number,’ Sullivan told CNN. ‘We believe it is several thousand Americans who we are working with now to try to get safely out of the country.’
At one point, it was believed that nearly 450 Americans were still stuck in the country two months after the U.S. withdrawal.
Sullivan said on August 16 that ‘the president did not think it was inevitable that the Taliban were going to take control of Afghanistan’ and that the situation devolved at ‘unexpected speed.’
‘He should’ve lost his job after the botched Afghanistan withdrawal,’ Abigail Jackson, press secretary for GOP Senator Josh Hawley, posted on X on Sunday.
In 2021, the top oversight Republican in Congress called for the removal of Sullivan from his position due to his position at the ‘epicenter’ of failed foreign policy decisions over the last ten years including the Benghazi terror attack that killed 3 American contractors and a U.S. Ambassador.
Sullivan served as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff and policy adviser at the State Department during the 2012 attack on U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
‘From Benghazi to the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, Jake Sullivan has been at the epicenter of the worst foreign policy crises and decisions over the past decade,’ Ranking Member on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Kentucky Rep. James Comer, told Fox News Digital at the time. ‘Given this administration’s tendency to create self-inflicted crises, it’s no surprise Jake Sullivan has been given a top post at the Biden White House.’
A source involved in Libya policy in Washington throughout Clinton’s tenure, speaking on background, told Fox News Digital in 2020 that Sullivan was a prominent — albeit quiet — player in the controversial U.S. overthrow of Libya with Clinton’s unflinching support.
Republicans also raised questions about Sullivan this past summer, Fox News Digital reported, after it was revealed that Sullivan served with Hunter Biden on the board of the Truman National Security Project, a liberal foreign policy think tank, for roughly two years before Sullivan joined the Biden campaign in 2020.
During the Clinton presidential campaign, Sullivan also notoriously pushed the Trump-Russia collusion narrative to reporters. He told members of the House Intelligence committee in a December 2017 interview that prior to the 2016 election he briefed reporters on his suspicions.
‘[B]asically we sat with them and walked through what we understood to be the case from — in terms of the DNC hack and leak, what we believed to be the case with respect to Russian involvement,’ Sullivan said, ‘and then what we thought the upshot of this was, which is you now have the start of a much more aggressive phase of an intelligence-led operation by foreign power, and there’s likely to be more as we go forward, and people should really pay attention to this.’
‘Jake Sullivan has a lot to answer for,’ GOP Sen. Josh Hawley, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Fox News Digital earlier this year.
‘He has repeatedly lied for perceived political gain – whether that be about the Russia Collusion hoax or the Hunter Biden laptop. And now he’s Biden’s national security adviser? He should resign immediately.’
Sullivan was recently accused by former White House official Mike McCormick of being a ‘conspirator’ in the Biden family’s ‘kickback scheme’ in Ukraine when Biden was vice president.
Sullivan denied the allegations, telling reporters that he had nothing to do with such an operation.
Sullivan has also been criticized in the past for his involvement in the U.S. foreign policy dealings in Syria and Myanmar.
During a 2019 interview with the New Yorker, Sullivan said it was ‘a great regret of mine’ that ‘we were not able to more effectively play a role in stopping hundreds of thousands of people from dying in Syria and millions and millions more losing their homes.’
The National Security Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
Fox News Digital’s Cameron Cawthorne and Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.