Trump on Israel embassy move: ‘Evangelicals appreciate it more than the Jews’
President Trump said in a new interview that evangelical Christians have been more appreciative than Jewish people of his decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Trump indicated to Mike Huckabee on the former GOP governor’s show on the TBN Christian network that he was surprised by the reaction.
“I tell you what, I get more calls of thank you from evangelicals, and I see it in the audiences and everything else, than I do from Jewish people,” Trump said. “And the Jewish people appreciate it but the evangelicals appreciate it more than the Jews.”
“It’s not a surprise though Mr. President, because evangelicals are people of the book,” Huckabee replied. “And they believe you kept a promise, were fulfilling really a 3,000-year old commitment to recognize Jerusalem as the capital.”
“I think it’s a nice thing to say because it really affects Jewish people in theory more, but as you say people of the book, people of the Bible,” Trump said. “But the evangelicals really appreciate it and that makes me feel good.”
Trump has received widespread support from the evangelical community throughout his presidency.
Huckabee was among those who attended the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem last month. Trump did not attend the ceremony, but sent a U.S. delegation.
Trump faced international backlash for fulfilling his campaign promise to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He earned praise for the move from Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Israeli leaders.
Decades of past U.S. policy dictated that the status of Jerusalem should be determined in Mideast peace talks, and Palestinians have long looked to east Jerusalem as a future capital.