Trump touts Jerusalem announcement among 2017 successes

Trump touts Jerusalem announcement among 2017 successes

In end-of-year video lauding first year in office, US president can be seen visiting Western Wall and signing declaration to recognize Israel's capital

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida — US President Donald Trump capped 2017 on Sunday with a video self-tribute touching on what he sees as the high points of his achievements and rhetoric from his first year in office, including his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

In the three-and-a-half minute long video, scenes of Trump with military personnel, Border Patrol agents and other world leaders are set to a stirring soundtrack as he declares of his country: “We gave birth to the modern world and we will shape tomorrow’s world with the strength and skill of American hands.”

Trump cited his success in placing a new justice on the Supreme Court, his efforts to cut regulations and his big win on overhauling taxes, which he falsely described as the “largest tax cut in the history of our country.”

Included in the video is footage of Trump visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, the first such visit by a sitting president, during his May trip to Israel. Immediately after, the video cuts to Trump signing a declaration he made earlier this month recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

US President Donald Trump holds up a signed memorandum after he delivered a statement on Jerusalem from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC on December 6, 2017 as US Vice President Mike Pence looks on. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

In an address from the White House earlier this month, Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.

The move was hailed by Prime Minister Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum. Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.

Trump offered the video on Twitter with a New Year’s Eve message, saying “What a year it’s been, and we’re just getting started. Together, we are MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! Happy New Year!!”

He later offered another Twitter message, loaded with his signature bombast: “As our Country rapidly grows stronger and smarter, I want to wish all of my friends, supporters, enemies, haters, and even the very dishonest Fake News Media, a Happy and Healthy New Year. 2018 will be a great year for America!”

The president is spending the holidays in Palm Beach, where his Mar-a-Lago club hosts an annual New Year’s Eve bash.

Accompanied by first lady Melania Trump and son Barron, a tuxedoed Trump spoke to reporters as he entered the gilded ballroom at Mar-a-Lago. He said the stock market will continue to rise and that companies are going to continue to come into the US.

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and their son Barron arrive for a New Year’s Eve gala at his Mar-a-Lago resort Sunday, December 31, 2017, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP/Evan Vucci)

Asked for his reaction to North Korea leader Kim Jon Un’s remarks about having a nuclear button on his desk, Trump responded by saying, “We’ll see.”

Guests gathered in the ballroom included senior White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Trump’s sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The White House said Trump been briefed on New Year’s Eve security precautions around the country and will continue to monitor those efforts.

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