McMaster: Trump not giving up on Mideast peace amid video backlash

McMaster: Trump not giving up on Mideast peace amid video backlash
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National security adviser H.R. McMaster said Sunday that President Trump is not giving up on a Middle East peace agreement after Trump retweeted anti-Muslim videos and reports that the president will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"I'm not sure what decision he'll make. We've given him options," McMaster said on "Fox News Sunday."

"There are options involving the move of an embassy at some point in the future, which I think, ... could be used to gain momentum ... toward a peace agreement, and a solution that works both for Israelis and for Palestinians," he continued.

Trump is expected next month to once again delay the decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which was a major campaign promise, The Associated Press reported on Friday.


He will likely make the announcement next week, but may also officially declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital city.

Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.

"I think what the president is doing is reflecting what has been, you know, a U.S. ... waiver that's been done, I think, you know, 46 or 47 times. And he's following through on a pledge he made during his election," McMaster said Sunday.

Trump last Wednesday retweeted videos posted by Jayda Fransen, a leader of the far-right Britain First party. The group is considered a fringe entity in the U.K., and Fransen has been convicted of a hate crime.

The tweets set off a massive backlash against the president on both sides of the Atlantic, with British Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. lawmakers condemning his actions.

McMaster on Sunday said it was Trump’s intention to “highlight the importance of creating safe and secure environments for our citizens.”

McMaster also said that America's allies don't need any reassurances that Trump is "firmly in charge," despite news that former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, and reports that the Trump administration is planning to replace Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump House passes legislation to elevate cybersecurity at the State Department Biden's is not a leaky ship of state — not yet MORE.

He added that he’s not aware of any plan to replace Tillerson.