US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2016 Policy Conference.
(photo credit: SAUL LOEB / AFP)
US President Donald Trump said on Friday that it is "too early" to talk about moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
"I don't want to talk about it yet," Trump said in an interview with Fox News. "It's too early."
Though once committed to quickly moving America's embassy
from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Trump administration has recently been approaching the subject with more caution, promising only to review the matter extensively and in consultation with "stakeholders" in the conflict.
During the election campaign, Trump's promise to move the embassy had been unflinching: "We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem," Trump told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March. He repeated that commitment at several subsequent campaign events.
Donald Trump at AIPAC conference in March 2016: Will veto anti-Israel moves at UN, move US embassy to Jerusalem
In December, it was reported that officials from Israel’s Foreign Ministry
had begun checking into possible sites on behalf of the Trump team.
Over the course of the interview, he was asked about Israel on a number of topics. Regarding the importance of repairing the US-Israel relationship, Trump responded that "It is repaired. It was repaired the minute I spoke to Netanyahu."
About the $221 million that was transferred the Palestinian Authority
former President Barack Obama shortly before Trump was sworn in as president, the president said "We're going to see what happens. I don't want to talk about it."
In another part of the interview, he also referenced Israel. Speaking about plans to build a security wall along the Mexican border, he said that "people want protection and a wall protects. All you have to do is ask Israel. They were having a total disaster coming across and they had a wall and 99.9% stoppage."
During the course of the interview, he also referred to Islamic State as "sneaky, dirty rats."
About the Iran Deal, Trump said "it's one of the worst deals I've ever seen" and said it was hard to believe that "[former Secretary of State John] Kerry didn't get out of his chair and leave."Michael Wilner and JTA contributed to this report.