Trump denies scolding Jewish son-in-law over scuttled Israel trip
GOP front-runner said to reprimand Jared Kushner for proposing visit that was nixed after Netanyahu slammed comments on Muslims
Donald Trump’s campaign denied a report that he reprimanded his Jewish son-in-law after a planned visit to Israel fell through because of the candidate’s controversial comments on Muslims.
New York magazine, in a profile of the front-runner in the race for the Republican presidential nod, reported Sunday that Trump was upset with Jared Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, for suggesting the visit.
“When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized Trump’s proposal to halt Muslim immigration, Trump canceled the trip,” the magazine reported. “‘This was all your idea!’ Trump scolded his son-in-law, according to a source.”
In an email to JTA, however, campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks wrote: “This is totally and unequivocally false. The story was not fact checked.”
Trump canceled the visit, planned for late December, after Netanyahu said that he “rejected” the real estate magnate’s remarks about Muslims, saying Israel “respects all religions.”
In December, the Republican candidate called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” leading 37 Israeli lawmakers to sign a petition calling on Netanyahu to cancel a planned meeting that month with Trump.
A few days after Trump’s comment, Netanyahu released a statement rejecting Trump’s travel ban for Muslims.
“The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens. At the same time, Israel is fighting against militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians and Jews alike and threatens the entire world,” Netanyahu’s office said in the statement.
An official in the PMO said Netanyahu would meet with any presidential candidate from any party in the US elections, but added that Netanyahu “does not agree with every comment by every candidate.”
Trump called Netanyahu’s comments on his proposal “inappropriate,” but insisted he supported Israel and would visit “as president.”
According to the New York profile, Kushner and Ken Kurson, the editor of the New York Observer, which Kushner owns, wrote Trump’s speech last month to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual conference.
Ivanka Trump underwent an Orthodox conversion before marrying real estate investor and newspaper publisher Kushner in 2009.