President Donald Trump in an interview airing Friday denied that he had declared that it was time for the United States to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights out of concern for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's chances in upcoming parliamentary elections, but said it was a decision he'd considered for "a long time."
"I wouldn't even know about that," Trump told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo about the Israeli vote, which is set for April 9. "Every president has said 'do that.' I'm the one that gets it done."
He added that it was much like his decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem after other presidents had campaigned on the matter but never followed through.
"When I got elected, I was inundated with calls from all over the world, leaders, mostly leaders, saying 'please don't do it, don't do it,'" said Trump. "I did it, it has been done. It is fine...this is about regional security."
He added that he has heard Netanyahu is doing "okay," and he imagines that the prime minister's opponents are "also in favor of what I just did."
The announcement came ahead of Netanyahu's planned visit next week to the White House, and after the administration had been considering recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan, which it had captured from Syria in 1967.
Minutes after Trump's tweet, Netanyahu thanked him through Twitter, saying that "at a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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