US Ambassador To Israel Says Trump’s Charlottesville Response ‘Wasn’t Fine’

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President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Israel thinks the President’s response to a recent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia could have been better.

Speaking to a reporter from Israel’s Channel 10 News, Ambassador David Friedman said he thinks Trump is “treated very unfairly by the media” and that “people should give him a chance.”

When asked whether Trump’s response to the violence that broke out at the white nationalist rally was “fine,” Friedman broke with the President.

“I think the reaction wasn’t fine, but you know— I’d rather talk about Boeing today,” he said, referencing the arrival of a new aircraft being brought to the Ben-Gurion Airport in Israel Wednesday.

Friendman’s comments follow a week of global backlash against the President after he blamed the violence that broke out at a white nationalist rally on both the white supremacists and the people who came to protest them.

The rally turned violent as the two groups clashed and a man affiliated with the white nationalists allegedly drove his car into a group of counter-protestors, killing one.

It took the President two full days to condemn the white nationalists and neo-Nazis who gathered for the rally.

Friedman, a former bankruptcy lawyer, faced criticism for his ideology on U.S. relations with Israel during his confirmation hearing.

In February, five former ambassadors to Israel wrote a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee saying he was unqualified for the job because of Friedman’s apparent opposition to a two-state solution between Palestine and Israel, which has been U.S. policy since 2002.

Friedman has also been criticized for some of his extremist positions. He accused former President Barack Obama and the entire State Department of being anti-Semitic and said Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s adviser, has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, according to the letter. 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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