So much for how friendly Donald Trump is to Israel.
Trump’s new top aide, Paul Manafort, fought against moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, all on behalf of the Saudi government.
In 1984, Manafort was paid $200,000 to lobby for the Saudis so he could fight House and Senate legislation urging the U.S. government to make the move, according to a Foreign Agents Registration Act disclosure. The legislation, AKA the Jerusalem Embassy Act, was passed by both the House and Senate in 1995. Bill Clinton left it alone, neither signing it or vetoing it, which allowed the bill to become law, but no president has followed the dictates of the law.
Last December Trump was booed by Republican Jews when he refused to recognize Jerusalem as the undisputed capital of Israel. He found a way to shift his position in March, telling the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, “We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.”
As opposed to Trump’s on-again, off-again support of the state of Israel, Sen. Ted Cruz, has co-sponsored legislation to move the embassy to Jerusalem.
Manafort kept lobbying for the Saudis, advising the Saudi government on U.S. arms sales to the Saudis and energy policy. In 1986, Manafort lobbied the Reagan White House, the State Department and Congressional staff for an arms sale to Saudi Arabia, for which he made a quarter-million dollars.