Trump: 'Too Early' to Talk About Moving U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem

'People want protection and a wall protects. All you have to do is ask Israel,' Trump says, using Israel to defend Mexico border wall in interview with Fox.

US President Donald Trump addresses a Republican retreat in Philadelphia on January 26, 2017.
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP

President Donald Trump said in an interview Thursday night that it was "too early" for him to comment publicly on moving the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Speaking with Fox News, Trump replied to a question on the subject by saying: "I don't want to talk about it yet. It's too early." 

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The president was asked during the interview how he planned to repair what was described as the "damage to the relationship with Israel," and replied that ties were mended once he took office. "It was repaired right away," he claimed. Trump spoke on the phone with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this week and the two are expected to meet in Washington early February. 

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In a different part of the interview, Trump invoked Israel to justify his proposed plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. "The wall is necessary," the president explained, "because people want protection and a wall protects. All you have to do is ask Israel."

Trump explained that Israel suffered from a "disaster" of illegal immigration, but once it built a wall, "it stopped 99.9%." 

The president was probably referring to Israel's border fence with Egypt, which was set up in 2013 and has drastically decreased the number of immigrants and refugees from Africa who cross into Israel from the Sinai Peninsula.

Trump was also asked about the reports which said he ordered the State Department to review the Obama administration's last-minute decision to transfer 220 million dollars to the Palestinian Authority. He replied simply by saying "we'll see what happens."