President Joe Biden is facing backlash for hosting a barbecue at the White House on Sunday afternoon. This event unfolded against the backdrop of escalating tensions in the Middle East, where Israel declared war on Hamas following surprise attacks – the first official declaration of war by the nation since the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
Republican Missouri Senator Josh Hawley took to Twitter to express his disapproval, stating, “While Hamas holds Americans hostage, Joe Biden is enjoying a picnic with a live band.” Hawley’s tweet included a screenshot of a White House Pool report, which detailed the presence of a “live band” near the Rose Garden in the late afternoon and early evening.
While Hamas holds Americans hostage, Joe Biden is enjoying a picnic with a live band pic.twitter.com/0xqRDwyuoR
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 8, 2023
According to the pool report sent out just after 6 p.m. on Sunday when questioned about the band, the White House responded that the President and First Lady were hosting a barbecue for White House Executive Residence Staff and their families. This explanation did little to quell the criticism, with Hawley and other conservatives voicing their concerns on social media.
The timing of the barbecue has become particularly contentious as reports indicate that Hamas has taken numerous hostages, including women and children, amidst the ongoing attacks. U.S. officials are actively working to confirm whether American citizens are among the hostages or casualties.
The Israeli government’s declaration of war on Sunday marked a significant escalation in the conflict. Since the commencement of the attacks on Saturday morning, at least 700 people in Israel have lost their lives, with another 2,000 individuals sustaining injuries. The situation remains fluid and highly sensitive.
Fox News Digital reached out to the White House on Sunday evening for additional comments on the barbecue, seeking clarification on the decision to host such an event amid the intensifying crisis in the region. As the controversy continues to unfold, critics are questioning the appropriateness of a festive gathering at the White House in the midst of a rapidly evolving and volatile international situation.
— XIMENA (@RepublicanChick) October 8, 2023
Instead of addressing the Israeli-Palestine conflict, Joe Biden hosted a BBQ today alongside Jill Biden for his staff.
Biden’s BBQ comes just weeks after he unfroze $6 billion of the Iranian regimes assets.
Iran is well documented for funding Hamas.
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) October 9, 2023