President Donald Trump, by moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, took action other presidents promised without following through, said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who is at the new embassy to unveil the the United States seal, along with Ivanka Trump.
"The president is fulfilling a campaign promise, something he said he would do," Mnuchin told Fox News' Harris Faulkner on "Fox & Friends." "Other presidents said they would do this and they didn't. It was over 20 years since Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act and the president is making good on it now."
Trump took the action because "it is the right thing to do," Mnuchin said. "This is the capital of Israel. Israel is one of our closest partners. Israel is absolutely fighting terrorism with us and combating terrorist financing. The president is fulfilling what has been an act of Congress."
The embassy opening marks the 70th anniversary of Israel as a nation-state, noted Mnuchin, and Trump wants peace in the Middle East.
"This is an incredible day to be here in Israel," Mnuchin said. "I'm very proud to represent President Trump and the administration. It is a momentous time. The president is just absolutely focused making sure that Americans are safe, that people here in the region are safe. It is not coincidental this is the week that President Trump said we're getting out of a bad Iranian nuclear deal."
Meanwhile, Trump is making difficult decisions, but he believes they are the right ones to make in the long term, Mnuchin said.
"Again, if you look at Israel, we are acknowledging this is their capital, which it has been," Mnuchin said.
There have been critics who said the move is mostly symbolic, noted Faulkner, but Mnuchin pointed out it is "very real to the people of Israel. It is very, very meaningful. We've been here [Sunday] midday. Been to lots of activities. People in this country are very excited that the president stood up for them."
He added he wanted to thank Israel for "being a great partner with the United States, for helping us fight terrorism throughout the region and standing with us. It is an important ally. We have lots of important allies, and we're thrilled to be here [Monday]."
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