Schumer, Trump Align on Jerusalem Policy While Sparring Over Iran deal

Senator praises president on embassy move

 Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer pushed President Donald Trump to follow through on moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is praising President Donald Trump for following through on designating the U.S. embassy in Israel in Jerusalem.

“In a long overdue move, we have moved our embassy to Jerusalem. Every nation should have the right to choose its capital,” the Democrat from New York said in a statement. “I sponsored legislation to do this two decades ago, and I applaud President Trump for doing it.”

The Jerusalem Embassy Act had in fact been law since November of 1995, but making the move from Tel Aviv was rather routinely waived by U.S. presidents. Still, Trump made it a campaign promise.

Schumer has publicly and privately pressured Trump to make the move, including last October in response to an interview of the president by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

“President Trump’s recent comments suggest his indecisiveness on the embassy’s relocation. As someone who strongly believes that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel, I am calling for the U.S. Embassy in Israel to be relocated to Jerusalem,” Schumer said at the time. “Moving the embassy as soon as possible would appropriately commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification and show the world that the U.S. definitively acknowledges Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”

The common ground between the two native New Yorkers on Israel should be no surprise, with Schumer having a long history of being more favorable to the Jewish state than some others in the Democratic Party.

Nonetheless, Trump and Schumer have not been seeing eye-to-eye on another big topic in the Middle East: the international nuclear agreement to Iran. Despite Schumer’s opposition to the terms of the Iran deal reached by President Barack Obama and his administration, he has also opposed the Trump-led withdrawal of U.S. participation.

“When President Trump makes rash decisions without much consideration of the consequences and no coherent strategy, which is what’s happened here in Iran, the American people pay the price in many different ways: security, the declined ability to go after Iran, and money out of their own pocket books with an increase in gasoline prices,” Schumer said in a floor speech on Thursday, a reference to any possible clampdown on the Iranian oil industry. “One of the ways Americans will pay for President Trump’s unthought-out decision to exit the Iran deal will be at the gas pump this summer.”

The president and the Senate minority leader also traded rhetorical fire on Twitter.

“Senator Cryin’ Chuck Schumer fought hard against the Bad Iran Deal, even going at it with President Obama, & then Voted AGAINST it! Now he says I should not have terminated the deal — but he doesn’t really believe that!” Trump tweeted.

Schumer’s response was succinct, using the #BeBest hashtag of First Lady Melania Trump’s campaign to support children.


“I didn’t think the deal was a good deal. Proud I voted no. But at this time and this place for so many reasons, pulling out precipitously without our allies involved, does not achieved any of the goals we need to achieve and hurts Americans in different ways,” Schumer said.

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