Trump to Israel Hayom: Jerusalem announcement was the highlight of my term

Noting “tremendous” lobbying against move, U.S. President Trump says, “I fulfilled my pledge” • As for his comment that Israel would have to pay more in return for recognition, Trump says, “I think both sides will have to make hard compromises” for peace.

One year into his presidency, and a week after his first State of the Union address, U.S. President Donald Trump sat down for an in-depth interview with Israel Hayom.

At the very start of the interview, Trump made it clear to me, just as he did before entering office, that he was a man of his word.  His dramatic declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December was proof of this declaration, and he now says he has no regrets.

When I asked him what he thought would be the most memorable event from his first year in office, he didn’t hesitate in his response.

“I think Jerusalem was a very big point. And I think it was a very important point. The capital, having Jerusalem be your great capital, was a very important thing to a lot of people.”

“I have been thanked and in some cases not thanked, to be 100% honest about it. But it was a very important pledge that I made and I fulfilled my pledge.”

Q: Was the decision on Jerusalem one of your goals for your first year in office?

“That’s right. I said that I would like to be able to do it in the first year. I can understand why many other presidents bailed on their promise because tremendous pressure was put on them not to do it. The other presidents, all of them have failed in the promise even though they made it as a campaign promise but I understand it because I will tell you, the lobbying against it was tremendous.”

Q: What did you mean when you said recently in Davos that Jerusalem was off the table because of your decision?

“By taking Jerusalem off the table I wanted to make it clear that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and as for specific boundaries would support what both sides agreed to.”

Will Israel have to give something in return for the decision on Jerusalem?

“I think both sides will have to make hard compromises to reach a peace agreement.”