Stand up for the facts!

Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Palestinians displaced by the Israeli air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip walk through a makeshift tent camp May 10, 2024 , in Rafah, Gaza. (AP) Palestinians displaced by the Israeli air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip walk through a makeshift tent camp May 10, 2024 , in Rafah, Gaza. (AP)

Palestinians displaced by the Israeli air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip walk through a makeshift tent camp May 10, 2024 , in Rafah, Gaza. (AP)

Amy Sherman
By Amy Sherman May 15, 2024

Trump said Biden wants to ‘immediately stop all aid to Israel.’ That’s not what Biden said.

If Your Time is short

  • In May, the United States paused one shipment of weapons to Israel consisting of 1,800 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs.

  • President Joe Biden said on CNN that if Israel does a full-scale assault on Rafah, "I'm not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities, to deal with that problem."

  • Biden also said the U.S. will continue to provide aid to Israel.

President Joe Biden’s administration paused one shipment of 3,500 bombs to Israel hoping to prevent a full-scale attack on Gaza — a move that former President Donald Trump condemned.

"Biden wants to immediately stop all aid to Israel," Trump said May 10 on Truth Social. "Any Jewish person who votes for Crooked Joe Biden should have his/her head examined!"

Two days earlier, Biden said on CNN that he would not supply certain offensive weapons if Israel launched a full attack on cities in Rafah, though he would continue to provide military aid. 

Twenty-six Democrats wrote a letter to National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on May 10 stating they were "deeply concerned" about "withholding weapons shipments to Israel, during a critical moment in the negotiations." Republican leaders wrote that they were alarmed about the delay in weapons for Israel.

But withholding some weapons does not equal immediately cutting off all aid to Israel.

Trump’s statement is "factually completely inaccurate," said Aaron David Miller, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former adviser to secretaries of state from both major political parties.

Days after Trump’s remark, multiple outlets including the Wall Street Journal,  The Washington Post, New York Times, Associated Press and CNN citing anonymous sources, reported that the Biden administration told Congress it was proposing more than $1 billion in weapons agreements for Israel, including tank ammunition, tactical vehicles and mortar rounds. PolitiFact does not use anonymous sources and we were not able to corroborate that reporting. Since these news reports were published after Trump’s remarks, we did not consider them in our rating.

We emailed a Trump campaign spokesperson asking for his evidence and received no response by our deadline.

U.S. paused one shipment of bombs 

In his May 8 CNN interview, Biden raised concerns about civilian deaths if Israel uses bombs in heavily populated areas in Rafah. 

"If they go into Rafah, I'm not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities, to deal with that problem," said Biden, who added that he made his position clear to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

However, Biden said the U.S. was not blocking all weapons for Israel.

"We're going to continue to make sure Israel is secure, in terms of Iron Dome and their ability to respond to attacks," Biden said. He later added, "We're not walking away from Israel's security. We're walking away from Israel's ability to wage war in those areas."

Gaza residents have been fleeing their homes and the area, bracing for a full-scale attack. On May 12, the United Nations’ relief agency estimated that 300,000 people had evacuated.

The United States paused one shipment of weapons in May consisting of 1,800 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs. That does not pertain to the bill Biden just signed – it is from funding from years ago. 

"This was intended as a tightly scripted pause, one shipment of high value munitions bombs to demonstrate the president’s frustration and concern that the Israelis were mounting a major military campaign against Rafah," Miller said. "The administration has gone out of way in briefings to make clear this is not an arms embargo, nor an open breach of U.S.-Israeli defense commitment." 

Barbara Slavin, a distinguished fellow at the Stimson Center, a nonpartisan Washington think tank, and an international affairs lecturer at George Washington University, also said Trump’s statement was wrong.

"All Biden has done is paused the shipment of 2,000 pound bombs," Slavin said. "He has given no indication that he would cut aid and has specifically said defensive aid — missile defense systems in particular — would continue."

Mark Cancian, senior adviser with the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ international security program, agreed with Slavin that Biden’s comments do not equal a total aid cutoff for Israel. 

Featured Fact-check

But he offered a caveat about the administration describing its action as a "pause."

"We can’t be sure it is a pause until they restart it, there is that dangling question," he said.

The U.S. has given Israel $3 billion to $4 billion a year in military aid during the past decade and a half. This spending was outlined in a 10-year, $38 billion memorandum of understanding the two countries signed in 2016. The memorandum cited several priorities, including updating the Israeli air fleet and maintaining the country’s missile defense system. Similar memorandums were signed under the George W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations.

U.S. has continued providing billions of aid to Israel during Biden’s administration

The State Department and Department of Defense both have oversight roles for any U.S aid that Congress appropriates, and the Arms Export Control Act requires that the President notify Congress only of sales above a certain dollar threshold. Once the sales go through, we don’t know exactly when weapons get transferred to Israel. And the process — of aid being provided, sales approved and weapons then arriving in Israel — can take years.

The Washington Post reported in March that the U.S. has approved and delivered more than 100 separate foreign military sales to Israel since Oct. 7, when Hamas attacked Israel and the war began.

The Post found that only two of those 100 sales have been made public: $106 million in tank ammunition and $147.5 million in components needed to make 155-millimeter artillery shells.

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby and White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre gave separate May 9 press briefings in which they said U.S. military aid to Israel will continue. That aid includes the money from the $95 billion foreign aid package for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan that Biden approved in April.  

The aid package included about $26 billion in Israel-Gaza assistance, including $14.3 billion for military aid to Israel and $9.3 billion for humanitarian aid.

When Biden signed the legislation, he said the U.S. "can help replenish Israel’s air defense and provide other critical defense so Iran can never carry out the destruction it intended with its attack 10 days ago."

Kirby told reporters, "Weapons shipments are still going to Israel. They’re still getting the vast, vast majority of everything that they need to defend themselves."

Jean-Pierre told reporters, "We are also committed to ensuring Israel gets every dollar appropriated in the supplemental. In addition, we just approved the latest tranche of foreign military financing, which is $827 million worth of weapons and equipment for Israel." 

The foreign military financing was approved May 7.

The foreign military financing program lets certain countries, including Israel, buy U.S. defense equipment, services, and training. (Israel has also been allowed to use some of this aid to buy equipment from Israeli defense companies, but that domestic procurement will be phased out in the next few years, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.)

If the Biden administration had wanted to suspend all aid to Israel, it could have called for that in a recent report. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a report to Congress May 10 that said it was "reasonable to assess" that Israeli forces used weapons in Gaza that were "inconsistent" with international humanitarian law or best practices for avoiding civilian harm, but the report did not officially conclude that Israel violated law.  The report was required under a National Security Memo signed by Biden in February. 

"They were explicit in this report that Israel remains eligible for transfers," said Allison McManus, managing director for the national security and international policy department at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington. 

Our ruling

Trump said, "Biden wants to immediately stop all aid to Israel."

That’s not what Biden said. In a CNN interview, Biden said his administration won’t supply the weapons for Israel to launch a full-scale attack on Rafah. Biden’s administration has paused sending Israel 3,500 bombs.

But Biden clarified on CNN that he is not cutting Israel from all U.S. aid, a point his administration’s officials have echoed. Biden signed legislation in April that provides billions of dollars in supplemental aid to Israel on top of billions the U.S. already provides annually to Israel. Israel also continues to have access to the U.S. foreign military financing program.

We rate this statement False. 

PolitiFact Senior Correspondent Louis Jacobson contributed to this fact-check.

Our Sources

Former President Donald Trump, Truth Social, May 10, 2024

Council on Foreign Relations, U.S. Aid to Israel in Four Charts, April 11, 2024

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, What's in the Latest House National Security Supplementals? April 19, 2024

CNN, Erin Burnett Outfront interview with President Joe Biden, May 8, 2024

Washington Post, U.S. floods arms into Israel despite mounting alarm over war’s conduct, March 6, 2024

House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, Letter to Biden, May 8, 2024

Letter to Jake Sullivan from several Democrats, May 10, 2024

UNRWA, X post, May 12, 2024

White House, On-the-Record Press Gaggle by White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby, May 9, 2024

White House, Press Gaggle by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre En Route Mountain View, CA, May 9, 2024

Congressional Research Service, Arms Sales: Congressional Review Process, Jan. 4, 2024


Wall Street Journal, Biden Moves Forward on $1 Billion in New Arms for Israel, May 14, 2024,

New York Times, Biden Administration Advances $1 Billion Arms Sale to Israel, May 14, 2024

AP, Biden administration is moving ahead on new $1 billion arms sale to Israel, congressional aides say, May 15, 2024

CNN, Biden administration begins lengthy process to approve new $1 billion arms deal for Israel, May 14, 2024

Washington Post, Biden advances $1 billion in arms for Israel amid Rafah tensions, May 14, 2024

NSM 20, Report to Congress, May 2024

White House, National Security Memorandum on Safeguards and Accountability With Respect to Transferred Defense Articles and Defense Services, Feb. 8, 2024

Telephone interview, Aaron David Miller, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who previously worked at the State Department and advisor to Republican and Democratic secretaries of state, May 13, 2024

Telephone interview, Mark F. Cancian, senior adviser, International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, May 13, 2024

Email interview, Barbara Slavin, distinguished fellow with the Stimson Center, May 13, 2024

Email interview with Lance Janda, historian at Cameron University, May 14, 2024

Telephone Interview, Aaron David Miller, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, May 13, 2024

Telephone interview, Allison McManus, managing director for the National Security and International Policy department at Center for American Progress, May 14, 2024

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Amy Sherman

Trump said Biden wants to ‘immediately stop all aid to Israel.’ That’s not what Biden said.

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up