U.S. President Donald Trump has told the same story about his policies toward Israel on at least four occasions, each time citing a different Jewish friend. A complication of videos over the past few months collected by the Washington Post shows Trump touting the 2016 U.S. pullout of the Iran nuclear deal as the "biggest thing" for Jews.
In nearly identical stories, even telling the same anecdote twice in one day, Trump refers to different Jewish friends. The first time Trump told the story was in September, he said the conversation occurred with "people." “I said to people, what is more important, the Golan Heights or the capital of Jerusalem by moving our embassy there…He said, neither sir, what you’ve done in Iran is more important,” the president said.
Trump was referring to the controversial decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018 and a March decision to fully recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
The story later emerged on December 7, with Trump mentioning American Jewish gambling magnate Sheldon Adelson. “I said to Sheldon, ‘What do you think was bigger? … Israel and the embassy going in, and it became Jerusalem, the capital of Israel? Or the Golan Heights?’ He said, ‘Neither.’”
Then again on December 11, Trump told the story at a While House Hanukah reception, mentioning New England Patriots owner and prominent Jewish philanthropist Robert Kraft. “I said, ‘Bob Kraft, which is bigger? Which is more important to the Jewish people?’ He said, ‘Neither.’ I said, ‘What does that mean?’ He said, ‘What you did by terminating the Iran nuclear deal is bigger than both.’ I think that’s true,” Trump said.
Just hours later, real estate developer Charles Kushner was the star of the story. “I said, ‘Charlie, let me ask you, what’s bigger for the Jewish people: giving the embassy to Jerusalem, it becomes the capital of Israel. What’s bigger? That or the Golan Heights?’ He said, ‘Neither.’ I said, ‘What does that mean?’ He said, ‘The biggest thing of all is what you did by ending the Iran nuclear catastrophe’,” Trump said.