Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump slammed the US State Department on Thursday over it’s criticism of Israel for using “excessive force” in defending its civilians from Arab terrorists.
Speaking to Greta Van Susteren of Fox News, the real estate guru condemned State Department spokesperson John Kirby’s talk of “credible reports” regarding “excessive force” made Wednesday. Trump’s statements can be seen five minutes into the video below.
“Israel’s being hit from all sides, and, you know, if you look at this new deal, this horrible, one of the worst contracts ever negotiated, the Iran nuclear deal, I mean, how can Israel be happy with the United States?,” posed Trump.
“They’re getting hit on in so many different ways. So, I don’t blame him (Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu) for being unhappy with our president, or the United States. We’re not taking care of them. We’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing.”
Directly addressing Kirby’s remarks, Trump said, “what’s excessive force? They’re being hit from all sides, and they’re being hit very unfairly, and they have to do what they have to do.”
In his comments, Kirby also falsely claimed on Wednesday that Israel is changing the “status quo” on the Temple Mount, and later had to issue a semi-retraction. Kirby also accused Israel of “terrorism,” saying “individuals on both sides of this divide are – have proven capable of, and in our view, are guilty of acts of terrorism.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry also got in on the action, blaming the terrorism on “Israeli settlements” in an interview Tuesday, in a statement Kirby later tried to backtrack on.
The string of condemnation of Israel from the State Department led Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who is competing with Trump in Republican presidential primaries, to call for Kerry’s resignation on Friday.
In his interview on Thursday, Trump also spoke of US President Barack Obama’s decision to delay the scheduled withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
“Well, I agree with that announcement because, frankly, if you look at what happened with Iraq, we should have never been in Iraq in the first place, but when we took the troops out, that was the end of that, and now Iran is taking over Iraq as sure as you’re sitting there,” said Trump.