On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s former chief of staff outlandishly claimed Utah Sen. Mike Lee is only interested in making sure America “doesn’t kill Hamas.” The comments were in reference to the Utah senator’s opposition to the disastrous border bill released by congressional leadership earlier this week.
“The loudest voices in the room” criticizing this bill “don’t give a sh-t about the border,” Josh Holmes said during a “Ruthless Podcast” discussion. “Their one thing that they care deeply about is to make sure that we don’t kill Hamas. That’s it, and I’m being deadly serious about that. I’m talking about people like Mike Lee.”
Prior to co-founding Cavalry LLC, a political consulting group, in 2015, Holmes served as McConnell’s chief of staff from 2010-2013, and later spearheaded the Kentucky senator’s 2014 reelection campaign. In his Tuesday remarks, the McConnell acolyte specifically attacked Lee, who has criticized McConnell and Senate GOP leadership for secretly scheming with Senate Democrats on crafting the legislation without input from the Republican caucus.
“The only thing that [Lee] really wants to make sure of is that we don’t kill Hamas. That’s it,” Holmes claimed. “He doesn’t give a sh-t about the immigration bill.”
While touted as a success by GOP leadership, the recently released bill would do nothing to halt the ongoing invasion at the U.S.-Mexico border. In addition to gifting $60 billion and $14 billion to Ukraine and Israel, respectively, the legislation would allow the secretary of Homeland Security to authorize a “border emergency” to “summarily remove” foreign nationals.
However, that provision can only take effect if “there is an average of 4,000 or more aliens who are encountered each day” for seven consecutive days. That means if such trends persist throughout the year, more than 1.4 million illegals, at a minimum, would be granted access to the United States.
The bill also grants the far-left D.C. District Court “sole” discretion over immigration-related cases, hands out work permits to illegal aliens, and makes available $10 billion in “aid” for Hamas-controlled Gaza.
In continuing his barrage against Lee, Holmes said he’d “do it all day” and baselessly claimed Utah’s senior senator “didn’t care” about any of the issues he discussed on prior appearances on the “Ruthless Podcast.”
“That’s a perfect example of an individual who has gone way, way out of his way, to just completely pervert anything that he’s told voters,” Holmes said. Lee is one of the Senate GOP’s most conservative members and boasts a more conservative voting record than Holmes’s former boss, McConnell.
Holmes also echoed team McConnell’s talking points blaming former President Donald Trump for the bill’s immediate failure, arguing it was senators like Lee who spent months highlighting the border crisis then criticized the finished legislation after Trump declined Congress’s open borders policies.
One of the bill’s glaring problems is vague language about U.S. funds for Gaza. The legislation designates $5.65 billion to help so-called “vulnerable populations and communities” regarding “the situations in Israel and Ukraine” without specifying who these “vulnerable” groups are and whether they reside in Hamas-controlled Gaza.
While the bill would create a “certification” system wherein the secretary of state would work with Israel to try to keep Hamas from getting U.S. funds, it also states the aid will be made available to Gaza, thereby tacitly acknowledging the aid could be acquired by Hamas. It isn’t until after the aid is distributed that the State Department would inform Congress of how and where the funds were allocated.
“It’s sad when podcasters embrace bizarre conspiracy theories as a comfort blanket in a confusing world,” Billy Gribbin, Lee’s communications director, told The Federalist. Lee is a co-sponsor of the Israel Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2023, which would provide standalone military aid to the Jewish state.
Holmes is hardly the only individual in McConnell’s orbit who has attacked conservatives for lambasting the disastrous measure. Cavalry co-founder Michael Duncan — who worked on digital operations for McConnell’s 2014 reelection campaign — had a similar meltdown over conservatives criticizing the bill on X on Monday. The former McConnell lackey even went after Federalist CEO Sean Davis for celebrating the failure of the Kentucky senator’s immigration bill, writing: “Who the f-ck is this guy lol.”
Duncan’s tweet responded to Davis saying: “Much like the Japanese soldiers stranded on islands and unaware the war was over, McConnell’s army of tiny tots hasn’t yet gotten the message that their turtle king has already recommended that senators kill the precious amnesty bill.”