WASHINGTON – Steve Bannon, the former senior adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, told an annual gathering of right-wing Christian activists that Trump could announce next week that he's moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Bannon went through a number of issues with which America's Christian right wing has achieved political victories since the election, and at the end of that list, suggested that the White House could "designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organization and move the embassy to Jerusalem" next week.
His statement received strong applause from the crowd.
Following Bannon's remark, a White House official told Haaretz that Trump is not scheduled to make any announcements on the embassy or the Muslim Brotherhood.
"There are no announcements planned on either one of these issues. In terms of the embassy, the president has always made it very clear that it is a matter of when, not if, and he said last week he wants to first give peace a chance," the official said.
In an interview with Mike Huckabee last Saturday, Trump said that he is holding back his plan to move the embassy because he wants to give his plans for achieving a peace agreement in the Middle East a chance first.
While such an explanation has been offered before by Trump administration officials, it was the first time that Trump himself has admitted that this is the reason he has so far not fulfilled his election promise regarding the embassy.
Trump promised a number of times during the 2016 election to move the embassy, but after assuming power in January of this year, has consistently avoided questions about when that promise will be fulfilled. In June, he signed a waiver delaying the embassy's move by half a year, as every president before him has done ever since Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995.
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