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Daily Beast: Trump Delegate Expert Lobbied Against Pro-Israel Legislation

Image: Daily Beast: Trump Delegate Expert Lobbied Against Pro-Israel Legislation
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump speaking at an American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in March. (Wire Services Photo)

By    |   Tuesday, 12 Apr 2016 05:09 PM

The man in charge of Donald Trump's delegate strategy once worked as a lobbyist and discouraged lawmakers from approving a measure to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Paul Manafort, who has stepped into a position of power within the campaign weeks after Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski came under fire from several fronts, did the lobbying on behalf of Saudi Arabia 30 years ago.

According to The Daily Beast, Manafort was paid $200,000 by the Saudi government in 1984 to lobby against a piece of legislation that would have encouraged lawmakers to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, a move that has been long sought after by pro-Israel groups.

Former President Bill Clinton refused to veto or sign into law the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which would require the relocation of the embassy, in 1995, and because of that it became a law. However, the law has never been enforced because Clinton, former President George W. Bush, and President Barack Obama all said Congress should not dictate foreign policy.

Trump said last month he would move the embassy to Jerusalem, the disputed capital of Israel, if he becomes president. The United Nations does not recognize Israel's decision to name the holy city of Jerusalem its capital.

On the same day Trump made that comment, he implied that Israel should pay back some of the U.S. aid money it's given.

"I want them to pay us some money," Trump said, referring to Japan, South Korea, and Germany. "I think Israel would do that also. There are many countries that can pay, and they can pay big-league."

Manafort, according to The Daily Beast, also lobbied for the Saudis on other issues in 1985 and 1986, including the sale of arms and energy.

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The man in charge of Donald Trump's delegate strategy once worked as a lobbyist and discouraged lawmakers from approving a measure to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
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2016-09-12
Tuesday, 12 Apr 2016 05:09 PM
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