Ahead of speaking to a pro-Israel conference in Washington, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said that the nation of Israel should reimburse the U.S. for military assistance.
“I want them to pay us some money,” Trump said during a press conference Monday at the site of Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C., which is set to open later this year. “I think Israel can afford to pay us. There are many countries who can pay.”
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a news conference at the construction site for the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C., at the Old Post Office Pavilion in downtown Washington Monday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
Trump was scheduled was set to speak Monday evening at the AIPAC Policy Conference, an annual pro-Israel gathering in Washington.
Trump was not singling out Israel, which is widely seen as a critical United States ally in the Middle East. He has made it part of his foreign policy proposal to make any wealthy country getting military assistance reimburse the U.S.
“I order thousands of television sets a year from South Korea. They are a behemoth,” Trump said. “Every time North Korea raises its head, they do anything, they sneeze, we send South Korea huge sums of money and everything else. We don’t get proper reimbursement for that. Now, I like South Korea. I have property in South Korea. I have a lot of friends in South Korea. They can’t believe they get away with it.”
Trump went on to name other countries.
“Germany can’t believe it. You know who really can’t believe it?,” Trump continued. “Saudi Arabia. You have Saudi Arabia, the richest country no matter how you cut it.”