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Trump blasts Democrats on Israel at Republican Jewish Coalition event

By Allen Cone
1/2
Trump blasts Democrats on Israel at Republican Jewish Coalition event
President Donald Trump waves as he walks on the South Lawn of the White House upon his return to Washington, D.C., from Las Vegas on Saturday night. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

April 6 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump criticized Democrats' stand on Israel as he courted members of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas.

Trump greeted the supporters of about 2,000 with the Hebrew greeting "Shabbat shalom."

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He went on to speak for one hour about Jewish voters' concerns but also mentioned other topics, including claiming asylum seekers look like UFC fighters and justified his decision to cut off aid to three Central American countries for their role in caravans heading to the United States.

Trump told the group that Democrats "would destroy our economy, cripple our country and very well could leave Israel out there all by yourselves -- can't do that."

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He said "people aren't fighting for Israel in Congress."

Trump received 24 percent of the Jewish vote in 2016, according to exit polling

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"How the hell did you support President Obama? How the hell did you support the Democrats? Well, you guys didn't," Trump joked to the Republican. "The incredible bond between the United States and Israel has never been stronger than it is right now."

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Trump has moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and recognized Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

He also has a close relation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is seeking re-election Tuesday.

When Trump asked the crowd who they thought would win, they replied with cheers of "Bibi," Netanyahu's nickname. Several attendees were wearing red yarmulkes bearing "Trump" and "RJC."

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Trump criticized the Democrats' recent move to block a measure condemning the boycott-Israel movement from the Yemen War Powers Resolution.

"The Democrats have even allowed the terrible scourge of anti-Semitism to take root in their party and in their country," Trump said.

He mentioned Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, has suggested that politicians who support Israel are financially motivated and that pro-Israel groups advocate for "allegiance to a foreign country."

"And a special thanks to Representative Omar of Minnesota," Trump joked, as the crowd booed at the Venetian Resort. "Oh, oh, oh I forgot, she doesn't like Israel, I forgot, I'm so sorry. Oh, no she doesn't like Israel, does she. Oh, please, I apologize."

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Sheldon Adelson owns the resort and, with his wife Dr. Miriam Adelson, a physician who specializes in the treatment of narcotic addiction, were his biggest donors in the 2016 election.

"Last year it was my honor to award Miriam the Presidential Medal of Freedom," Trump said.

Moving away from Israeli issues, Trump called the asylum program "a scam."

"Some of the roughest people you've ever seen, people that look like they should be fighting for the UFC," he said about Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial arts promotion company. "They read a little page given by lawyers that are all over the place -- you know lawyers, they tell them what to say. You look at this guy, you say, wow, 'that's a tough cookie.' "

Trump mocked those seeking asylum from the border with Mexico.

"We don't love the fact that he's got tattoos on his face, that's not a good sign," Trump said. "We don't love the fact that he's carrying the flag of Honduras or Guatemala or El Salvador, only to say he's petrified to be in his country."

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