Biden spills details about Israel in softball interview with Seth Meyers

 February 28, 2024

Faced with mounting doubts about his age, Joe Biden met with comedian Seth Meyers on Monday for what should have been an easy softball interview.

But it turned into a publicity disaster after Biden leaked details about hostage negotiations between Israel and Hamas. 

Biden told Meyers that a cease-fire is possible by Monday - an ambitious goal that was immediately dismissed by all parties.

Biden leaks sensitive information

Hamas slaughtered 1,200 Israelis and took over 250 captives in its brutal October 7 attack. Thousands of Palestinians have since died in Israel's effort to wipe out Hamas.

Biden, who was initially supportive of Israel in the aftermath of October 7, has bowed to pressure from progressives to negotiate a cease-fire as backlash mounts.

He received a warning shot in Michigan, a state with a sizable Arab minority, on Tuesday night as nearly 20 percent of Democratic voters backed other candidates or voted "uncommitted."

A day earlier, Biden renewed his promise to secure a cease-fire while having ice cream with Seth Meyers in New York.

"We're close," Biden told reporters. "We're not done yet. My hope is by next Monday we'll have a ceasefire."

The casual setting in which Biden chose to share such sensitive details raised eyebrows. Biden also blindsided Israel by telling Meyers during their taped interview that Israel had agreed to stop fighting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

"Ramadan's coming up and there has been an agreement by the Israelis that they would not engage in activities during Ramadan as well, in order to give us time to get all the hostages out," Biden said.

Israel, Hamas react

Biden's shoot-from-the-hip diplomacy faced swift backlash from representatives of Israel and Hamas, as well as Qatar, which is helping to mediate negotiations.

With many Israelis still in captivity, Hamas confirmed that the terror group's focus "is not the exchange of detainees, but the cessation of the war."

Israel has already rejected Hamas' demands as "delusional," and prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to Biden's cease-fire comments by re-iterating that Israel will seek "total victory."

Biden's national security officials have also used a more cautious tone, with national security spokesman John Kirby emphasizing that there is a "a lot more work to do."

"We're building on that progress this week and the president and his team remain engaged around the clock with multiple partners in the region," Kirby said.

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