In an exclusive statement to Breitbart News on Friday following the storming of the U.S. Embassy compound in Yemen and the taking of hostages there by a group whose terrorist designation was removed by President Biden, Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) blasted the president’s “weak” stance on foreign issues as well as the media’s refusal to cover the event, claiming it seeks to “hide” the Democrats’ “dangerous, anti-American agenda.”
Reschenthaler, who served in the Navy Judge Advocate General Corps and volunteered for duty in Iraq, began by slamming the recent signaling of American weakness to both the country and the world.
“Joe Biden’s failure in Afghanistan sent shockwaves at home and abroad,” he said. “It signaled that the Biden Administration would not stand up to our enemies.”
He then lamented the “further tragedies” that resulted from that weakness.
“Sadly, it’s no surprise his weakness resulted in further tragedies for our allies abroad with the detainment of foreign staffers of our Embassy in Yemen,” he said.
“It’s clear, Americans and our allies are less safe with Joe Biden at the helm,” he added.
The congressman concluded by criticizing the media blackout of the story, which he blamed on the desire to conceal the Democrats’ “dangerous, anti-American agenda” from the public.
“The mainstream media’s refusal to cover this tragic and important story is just the latest example of their efforts to hide Joe Biden and [the] Democrats’ dangerous, anti-American agenda,” he said.
According to the State Department, Iran-backed Houthi rebels stormed the U.S. embassy compound in Sana’a, Yemen, late last week, seizing hostages and large quantities of equipment, only days after the same group kidnapped Yemeni nationals working for the U.S. embassy.
While some early reports suggested a crisis similar to the 1979 embassy seizure in Tehran or the 2012 Benghazi consulate assault, the compound hasn’t been active since Iran-backed insurgents overthrew the country’s legitimate government six years ago and the American ambassador and most staffers were relocated.
However, the compound remains U.S. government property and its workers are U.S.-employed.
Washington is engaging in “unceasing” diplomatic efforts to free the security guards still in custody as it calls on Houthi forces to “immediately vacate” the compound and “return all seized property,” according to a State Department spokesperson.
While the Trump administration had designated the Houthis as a terrorist organization, the Biden administration removed the designation after the president took office.
Since then, the Biden administration has expressed “concern” and “alarm” about Houthi terrorist activity, even ostensibly becoming “fed up” and “horrified” with the insurgents after the slaughtering of civilians and children during a particular offensive of theirs.
The Biden State Department appears reluctant to make a statement about the hostages unless directly asked by a media organization.
Among Republicans, the incident spurred criticism of President Biden’s foreign policies.
“This is the awful price of showing weakness to our enemies,” wrote congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX).
Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have stormed the US Embassy in Yemen and taken hostages.
Within a month of taking office, Joe Biden removed the Houthis from the terrorist watch list.
This is the awful price of showing weakness to our enemies. https://t.co/Ih8TeylXyu
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) November 12, 2021
“It’s almost like our enemies sense weakness when certain people hold office,” he added in another tweet.
“This is exactly why I called on the Biden Administration to reverse its disastrous decision to remove the #Houthis from the U.S. list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations,” wrote Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY).
“With #Iran’s support, the Houthis continue to kill, kidnap, & terrorize,” she added. “We must re-designate them as an FTO.”
This is exactly why I called on the Biden Administration to reverse its disastrous decision to remove the #Houthis from the U.S. list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. With #Iran’s support, the Houthis continue to kill, kidnap, & terrorize. We must re-designate them as an FTO. https://t.co/ZjGcfXzE3Q
— Congresswoman Tenney (@RepTenney) November 11, 2021
“Yet another catastrophic national security failure for Joe Biden,” wrote Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
“The Biden admin couldn’t wait to dismantle terrorism sanctions on the Iran-backed Houthis and their leaders,” he added. “Now those terrorists are seizing our facilities & embassy workers.”
Yet another catastrophic national security failure for Joe Biden. The Biden admin couldn't wait to dismantle terrorism sanctions on the Iran-backed Houthis and their leaders. Now those terrorists are seizing our facilities & embassy workers. https://t.co/64L9hw2dw3
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 11, 2021
“Thanks to Joe Biden Iran no longer fears America. We’ve stood by as they attack US troops in Syria and take our workers hostage in Yemen,” wrote former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley. “America is better than this.”
“Soon after becoming President, Biden removed the Iranian-backed Houthis from the terrorism list. Now they’ve attacked our Embassy in Yemen and taken hostages,” wrote Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL). “Why? Because they know they can get away with it!”
“Not covered in the news: Yesterday Iran-backed Houthi rebels stormed our Embassy in Yemen and took workers hostage,” wrote Congressman Mike Garcia (R-CA).
“This is the price we pay for Biden giving hope to the bad guys and displaying our weakness to the world,” he added.
Not covered in the news: Yesterday Iran-backed Houthi rebels stormed our Embassy in Yemen and took workers hostage. This is the price we pay for Biden giving hope to the bad guys and displaying our weakness to the world. This President must…https://t.co/rQOhd4FNmH
— Mike Garcia (@ElectMikeGarcia) November 12, 2021
“It’s time we wake up to the reality on the ground that the Houthis are not interested in de-escalation,” wrote Senator Todd Young (R-IN).
“This is what happens when Joe Biden AGAIN fails to lead our nation as commander in chief and shows utter weakness to our enemies,” wrote Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL).
Rep. Reschenthaler has been outspoken in his criticism of the Biden administration and progressive Democrats.
Last week, he cosponsored a bill which calls on the State Department to designate the radical Muslim Brotherhood a Foreign Terrorist Organization, as the Biden administration is accused of boosting the extremist group in the Middle East.
In August, Reschenthaler slammed President Biden for seeking to deflect blame for the “epic failure” on the president’s part in Afghanistan, stating that Biden now “owns” all the recent scenes reminiscent of Saigon, adding that, unlike under Biden’s presidency, the Taliban feared former President Donald Trump.
In June, the Western Pennsylvania Republican also blasted Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) after the congresswoman equated the United States and Israel to Hamas terrorists and the Taliban, describing her as unfit to serve in Congress.
In May, he expressed outrage over comments made by “squad” member Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), which seemed to provide legitimization for the Hamas terror group’s recent attacks against Israel.
“I am appalled that anyone in America, let alone an elected member of Congress, would blame Israel for Hamas’ firing over 4,000 rockets at innocent Israeli civilian populations,” he said.
That same month, in response to a barrage of anti-Israel rhetoric from a slew of progressive Democrats, Reschenthaler stated that “Israel has every right to defend itself against terrorist groups like Hamas,” before blasting “radical” Democrats for their dishonesty.
“Unfortunately, radical Democrats like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib would rather criticize Israel and spread lies about who’s to blame for the chaos and suffering,” he said.
He also called upon President Joe Biden to issue a condemnation on the matter.
“President Biden needs to condemn the growing anti-Israel rhetoric in his party and restore President Trump’s successful strategy for peace in the Middle East by defending our closest ally in the region in their time of need,” he concluded.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.