Trump: Israel 'Literally Owned Congress' Until a Decade Ago

Speaking on a conservative radio show, the former president said 'today it's almost the opposite' due to progressive Democrats

Ben Samuels
Ben Samuels
Washington
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Then-President Donald Trump with then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year.
Then-President Donald Trump with then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year.Credit: Saul Loeb/AFP
Ben Samuels
Ben Samuels
Washington

WASHINGTON – Israel "literally owned Congress" until 10 years ago, but is no longer a force on Capitol Hill due to progressive Democrats, former U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday.

"The biggest change I've seen in Congress is Israel literally owned Congress — you understand that — 10 years ago, 15 years ago. And it was so powerful. It was so powerful. And today it's almost the opposite," Trump told the conservative Ari Hoffman Show.

"You have between AOC and [Rep. Ilhan] Omar — and these people that hate Israel, they hate it with a passion — they're controlling Congress, and Israel is not a force in Congress anymore. I mean, it's just amazing. I've never seen such a change," Trump continued. 

"And we're not talking about over a very long period of time, but I think you know exactly what I'm saying. They had such power, Israel had such power — and rightfully — over Congress, and now it doesn't. It's incredible, actually.

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 "I was told I could run for prime minister of Israel and win very easily — they like me over there. If you look at the vote, it's incredible that I didn't get the kind of a vote from Jewish people that you'd think I would get. Jewish people in this country, many of them, do not like Israel. Look at the New York Times, The New York Times is vicious against Israel, and it's just a terrible thing to watch," he added.

During his tenure as president, Trump often accused progressive critics of Israel of being antisemitic. He also charged American Jews who vote for Democrats of subsequently either lacking knowledge or being disloyal, drawing sharp criticism for provoking the antisemitic canard of dual loyalty.

He repeated his criticisms during the conflict between Israel and Hamas in May, saying "unbelievably, Democrats also continue to stand by crazed anti-American Rep. Ilhan Omar, and others, who savagely attack Israel while they are under terrorist assault."

He would later say that he was surprised more Jews did not vote for him in the 2020 presidential election, telling ultra-Orthodox Ami magazine that "I did the [Golan] Heights, I did Jerusalem, and I did Iran — the Iran Deal was a disaster, right? And I also did many other things. Jewish people who live in the United States don't love Israel enough. Does that make sense to you? I'm not talking about Orthodox Jews. I believe we got 25 percent of the Jewish vote, and it doesn't make sense. It just seems strange to me."

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