Trump Refuses to Say He's With Israel "100%," Says Blowing Up Buildings "Doesn't Make Them Look Tough"

Chris Menahan
Apr. 05, 2024

Former President Donald Trump in an interview on Thursday refused to say he's "standing 100% with Israel" but did say the Jewish state's decision to blow up buildings in Gaza "doesn't make them look tough."

Trump made the comments in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, who could be seen prominently flying an Israeli flag in his studio.

Partial transcript:
HH: I want to begin with Israel, Mr. President, because Sunday marked six months since October 7th. And you gave an interview recently to Israel Hayom, which was characterized by many on the left as being critical of Israel. Then Jonathan Tobin writes this morning, wait a minute, that’s not right. Trump was the friendliest president ever for Israel. Have you been mischaracterized in your advice to Israel?

DJT: Well, you know with the fake news, you never know what you’re going to get. You can say something very plainly, and they’ll turn it around. They’ll turn around everything. That’s why they’re fake. And that’s why they’ve been discovered. That’s why they’ve been found to be so, you know, if you look at approval ratings, they’re lower than Congress now, the news. They used to be in the 90s when I started, and now they’re lower than Congress. So I’m very proud of that fact. They’re bad news. Look, Israel should have never happened. If I were president, it would not have happened. Iran was broke. They had no money. They had no nothing. And we would have worked, a deal with Iran would have been made already. In the meantime, they’re going to have a nuclear weapon within probably 45 or 60 days. And then, it’s going to be a little tougher to talk to them. But October 7th would have never happened. They never, ever would have been attacked. But it is what it is, and this horrible thing happened. And what I said very plainly is get it over with, and let’s get back to peace and stop killing people. And that’s a very simple statement. Get it over with. They’ve got to finish what they finish. They have to get it done. Get it over with, and get it over with fast, because we have to, you have to get back to normalcy and peace. The whole world is blowing up with this idiot president we have. He’s an idiot. He’s the dumbest president we’ve ever had. He’s the most corrupt, and he’s the most incompetent. And he’s the worst president we’ve ever had by a factor…you know, I say, and you’ve listened to plenty of them. If you add up the ten worst presidents in history, they haven’t done the damage that this guy’s done to our country. What he’s done at the border with allowing probably 15 million people by this time into our country, and plenty more coming, it’s just insane. What they have done to our country in three and a half years is unbelievable.

HH: But you are still standing 100% with Israel? You achieved the Abraham Accords, which was the first peace deal since Sadat.

DJT: Right.

HH: And so are you still 100% with Israel? And what’s your advice to Netanyahu beyond get it over with in a hurry?

DJT: Well, that’s all the advice you can give. I mean, that’s the advice. You’ve got to get it over with, and you have to get back to normalcy. And I’m not sure that I’m loving the way they’re doing it
, because you’ve got to have victory. You have to have a victory, and it’s taking a long time. And the other thing is I hate, they put out tapes all the time. Every night, they’re releasing tapes of a building falling down. They shouldn’t be releasing tapes like that. They’re doing, that’s why they’re losing the PR war. They, Israel is absolutely losing the PR war.

HH: That’s how I read your interview. I read your interview as saying they’re losing the PR war. They’ve got to stop releasing bad video and win the war by going into Rafah.

DJT: They’re releasing the most heinous, most horrible tapes of buildings falling down. And people are imagining there’s a lot of people in those buildings, or people in those buildings, and they don’t like it. And I don’t know why they released, you know, wartime shots like that. I guess it makes them look tough. But to me, it doesn’t make them look tough. They’re losing the PR war. They’re losing it big. But they’ve got to finish what they started, and they’ve got to finish it fast, and we have to get on with life.
The late Sheldon Adelson's wife, Miriam Adelson, arranged and paid for the Israel Hayom interview with Trump last month where he said Israel needs to "finish up" the war and Israel's decision to bomb civilian buildings is the cause of rising anti-Semitism.

One of the interviewers, Ariel Kahana, whom the NY Times describes as "a right-wing settler who is the senior diplomatic correspondent for Israel Hayom," threw a fit over Trump's comments in Hebrew.

"Trump effectively bypassed Biden from the left, when he expressed willingness to stop this war and get back to being the great country you once were," Mr. Kahana wrote. "There's no way to beautify, minimize or cover up that problematic message."

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