Trump: If Israel Wants to Let Tlaib, Omar in, They Can, But I Can’t Imagine Why They Would

By Melanie Arter | August 16, 2019 | 12:12pm EDT
(Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images)

( - If Israel wants to allow Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) in, they can, “but I can’t imagine why they would,” President Donald Trump said Thursday prior to Israel’s decision to extend an invitation for Tlaib to visit her grandmother on humanitarian grounds.

Speaking to reporters in Morristown, N.J., Trump admitted that he spoke to someone in Israel about the congresswomen’s planned visit, but he refused to say to whom he spoke.

When asked why he felt the need to get involved in their trip to Israel, the president said, “Well, I'm only involved from the standpoint of they are very anti-Jewish, and they're very anti-Israel. I think it's disgraceful, the things they've said.

“You have lists of -- and this isn't just a one-line mistake - what they've said about Israel and Jewish people is a horrible thing, and they've become the face of the Democrat Party. So I did absolutely put out a very strong statement. I think, if you look at their language, if you look at what they've said, if I ever said it, it would be a horrible month, to put it mildly,” he said.

“So the things that they've said -- Omar, Tlaib -- what they've said is disgraceful. So I can't imagine why Israel would let them in, but if they want to let them in, they can, but I can't imagine why they would do it,” Trump said.

When asked whether he spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump said, “I don't want to comment about who I spoke to, but I think my social media statement pretty well speaks for itself. I feel that they are so anti-Israel, so anti-Jewish. Again, if other people made that statement, there would have been hell to pay. So -- but I did speak to people over there.”

When asked whether he encouraged Israel to reject the congresswomen during his conversations with people connected to Israel, Trump said, “No, I don’t encourage or discourage. I think that if Israel allowed them to come in for the normal reasons, other than those reasons, I really believe that it would be a terrible thing for Israel. I think it would show a terrible sign.

“They want to do boycotts. They said horrible things about Jewish people. They said horrible things about Israel and Israelis,” the president said about the congresswomen. “I think it would be a terrible thing, frankly, for Israel to let these two people, who speak so badly about Israel, come in, and they have become, amazingly, the face of the Democrats.

“The Democrats don’t want to do anything to condemn them. If they were -- if this were 10 years ago, or if this were maybe a different time or different people or whatever, they would be condemned for the things they’ve said. They’ve said some of the worst things I’ve ever heard said about Israel. So how can Israel say, ‘Oh, welcome?’ I don’t think it would be a good thing for Israel,” Trump said.


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