Corker Declines to Endorse Friedman

WASHINGTON – Republican Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) Bob Corker (R-TN) was unwilling to endorse David Friedman’s nominee for US Ambassador to Israel until the Thursday hearing. When asked by Jewish Insider on Tuesday if he supports Friedman’s candidacy, Corker replied, “Again, I want to go through the process. I think he is a very qualified nominee but as with all nominees that come before our committee, I want to have the hearing to understand more fully who he is.”

The SFRC will be holding a hearing for Friedman on Thursday at 10:00 AM. Friedman has made several provocative comments including calling J-Street “kapos,” the ADL “morons” and former President Obama an “anti-Semite.”

“Look, we are going to have a long opportunity on Thursday for all of those things to be discussed, and I’m sure that those kinds of questions will come up,” Corker added.

On January 11, the Tennessee lawmaker met with Friedman and posted on Twitter that “he was glad to welcome David Friedman to his Senate office.”

Democratic Senator Bob Menendez (NJ) appeared to show some willingness to back Friedman. While refusing to endorse him before the hearing later this week, he told Jewish Insider, “My private meeting with him indicates someone who is different than some of those public comments. I look forward to hearing his official response before the committee,” Menendez said.

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