Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Thursday revealed that he told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu how bad he thought the Iranian nuclear deal was for Israel and for the U.S. during their recent meeting in New York.
“I was with Bibi Netanyahu the other day and we talked about it,” Trump said at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Thursday when asked to point to the biggest foreign policy failure of the last 15 years. “Not to reveal what he said, but I can tell you what I said, ‘This is horrible for Israel. It is horrible for our country.'”
“I think the Iran deal is one of the worst deals I have ever seen,” Trump asserted. “It’s a horrible deal because over a short period of time — within 10 years, and it’s going to be sooner, they are going to end up with nuclear weapons. And they have like a path. On top of it, we gave them back $150 billion. We obviously paid ransom for our hostages… But most importantly, it’s just a bad deal. And I’m all for deals.”
On Monday, the two major vice presidential candidates, Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, debated the Israeli view on the nuclear deal as they faced off in the only vice presidential televised debate. “We stopped the Iranian nuclear weapons program,” Kaine said. “That’s what the Israeli joint chiefs of staff is saying right now.”
“Well, that’s not what Israel thinks,” Pence countered.
“Gadi Eizenkot, you can go check it,” Kaine responded, referring to the IDF chief of staff’s comments in January in which he said that the nuclear deal “has actually removed the most serious danger to Israel’s existence for the foreseeable future, and greatly reduced the threat over the longer term.”
In turn, Pence chided Kaine for “boycotting” Netanyahu’s speech to Congress last March.
The Republican Jewish Coalition on Thursday slammed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her running mate for what they called were “ludicrous and misleading comments” on the Iran nuclear deal.
“This dangerous deal with Iran will not stop Iran’s nuclear program, but instead paves the way to the future development of a bomb,” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a statement. “The fact that Hillary Clinton doesn’t understand this shows just how troubling her world view is. Clinton-Kaine’s continued support for this deal, in the face of everything we now know, is further proof of how naive and dangerous their policies are.”