(JTA) — President Donald Trump said he will not move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv until after his administration’s peace plan has a chance to be implemented.
Trump made the remark Saturday on a Christian Trinity Broadcast Network talk show hosted by Mike Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate
Trump said during the interview that a decision on moving the embassy would be made “in the not too distant future” before adding it would not be implemented before the peace proposal was given a chance to succeed.
“I want to give that a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem,” Trump told Huckabee.
The U.S. peace proposal is still in the planning stages and has not been announced.
Moving the embassy to Jerusalem was a Trump campaign promise.
In June, he signed a waiver delaying the implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act passed by Congress in 1995, which mandates the move of the embassy to Jerusalem. The waiver can be signed every six months and has been signed by every president since the law was passed. It will come up again in January.
Trump also told Huckabee that his administration is “working on a plan that everybody says will never work because for many, many years it never worked – they say it’s the toughest deal of all, peace between Israel and the Palestinians, so we’re going to work on that, and if that doesn’t work, which is possible, to be totally honest – some people say it’s impossible, but I don’t think it’s impossible, and I think that’s something that can happen, and I don’t want to make any predictions.”
Trump has called making peace between Israel and the Palestinians the “ultimate deal.”
On the Huckabee show, the president also labeled the Iran nuclear deal “terrible,” but did not say whether or not he would pull the United States out of the agreement.
“I can tell you I’m very unhappy with the deal. The spirit is not there,” Trump said, adding later that “Iran is a bad player and they will be taken care of as a bad player.”
Huckabee is the father of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders.