Presidential races

Trump to Lewandowski: Tell Israel how loyal I’ve been

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Donald Trump on Thursday cited his embattled campaign manager when discussing how he would treat Israel if elected president.

Corey Lewandowski appeared by Trump’s side in the GOP front-runner’s meeting with Jewish journalists at Trump Tower in New York City Thursday.

Trump reportedly asked Lewandowski mid-meeting about updates on the criminal charge against him in Florida. Lewandowski told Trump that the case had been dropped. 

“Oh good,” Trump responded, according to Forward. “Now, tell my friends from, in some cases, Israel, how loyal was Mr. Trump to you?”

{mosads}“More than I could possibly fathom,” Lewandowski responded. “I am so grateful.”

“I’m proud of you, Corey,” Trump said. “He wasn’t quite as effective for the past couple of months.”

Authorities in Florida on Thursday formally declined to prosecute Lewandowski for simple battery following a run-in with a reporter.

Police in Jupiter, Fla., charged Lewandowski with one count of simple battery last month after he allegedly grabbed former Breitbart journalist Michelle Fields, bruising her arm. Trump has strongly defended Lewandowski since the allegations first came to light.

Trump also told assembled reporters that he would treat Israel better than President Obama has should he win the White House.

“I have many Jewish friends,” he said during the meeting. “The thing I don’t understand is, in my opinion, Barack Obama has been tremendously disloyal to Israel. And yet my Jewish friends go out and have fundraisers for him.”

Trump dodged several specific policy questions, including issues of religion in relation to hiring and tax exemptions for religious groups, The Jerusalem Post reports, but addressed U.S. intervention in the Middle East and Israeli military defense.

Trump passed on describing the West Bank, a territory that Israel and Palestine have long feuded over, deferring to Trump Organization’s chief legal officer and frequent adviser on Israeli issues, Jason Greenblatt.

“[There are] many words I’ve seen to describe it,” he said. “Jason, how would you respond to that?”

Greenblatt said that he would not call the West Bank “occupied territories” before adding too much time is spent “getting hung up on terminology” over the region.

Trump said Greenblatt would “understand [the issue] better than me” as he visits Israel at least once a year.

“I like to get advice [not] from people that know Israel, but from people that truly love Israel,” Trump said.

Trump said he would appoint Greenblatt and fellow real estate lawyer David Friedman to be his chief advisers on Isarel.

Tags Barack Obama campaigns Donald Trump GOP Israel Politics Republicans

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