President Donald Trump's administration is putting the "onus squarely on Hamas" for the unrest going on in the Gaza Strip, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said Tuesday, while echoing comments made moments before by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who condemned the terrorist organization in an address to the Security Council.
"I want to echo what Nikki Haley said," Gidley told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."
"Hamas is 'pleased' is the word she used with this action. We put the onus squarely on Hamas. The president stands with [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu on this issue."
Hamas, he added, is using an "organized technique" to tray to gather support and sympathy from media outlets and the global community, while showing a "clear disdain for life by using human shields."
"You just saw Nikki Haley testifying to the fact they were putting Molotov cocktails on kites and trying to fly them over the border," said Gidley.
"This the type of action so that they will, in fact, get shot. It looks as though it is somehow someone else's fault for their action. But this is clearly on Hamas. Ambassador Haley is right."
The Gaza Strip protests have been going on for some time, said Gidley, and escalated on Monday, when the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem officially opened, resulting in several deaths.
"It was unfortunate with the deaths that occurred, no question about that," said Gidley. "We blame Hamas for those deaths. Today it seems there are fewer casualties. Of course, we want peace in the region. Nikki Haley is right about that. This president is pushing for it and hopefully can achieve it in this administration."
Gidley also commented on the numerous leaks that have come from the White House, including the one about communications aide Kelly Sadler and Sen. John McCain.
"I've been in press and communications for 25 years," said Gidley. "Leaks are always damaging because they are selfish to the person doing it. They don't help you further the administration's agenda."
The Trump administration has done many "incredible things," he continued, including the securing the release of three American prisoners from North Korea, and getting the United States out of the Iran deal "that made the world less safe."
The leak derailed that news, he said, "because of someone's selfish action leaking about a private meeting and private conversation. That is unacceptable."
There are many actions being looked at internally to solve the problem, he added.
"Gen. [John] Kelly put a clamp down on a lot of leaks early on when he got here," said gidley. "It appears as though some of those things are back, but we are moving to eradicate those. It's unacceptable."
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