Donald Trump said Thursday he was postponing a planned trip to Israel, but vowed to return “after I become president of the US.”
The Republican firebrand, who is facing fierce criticism from around the world over his call for Muslims to be barred from entering the United States, had been set to meet with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on December 28.
But Netanyahu’s office said he “rejects” Trump’s remarks, stressing that the planned talks were in line with the premier’s practice of meeting candidates visiting Israel.
“I have decided to postpone my trip to Israel and to schedule my meeting with @Netanyahu at a later date after I become President of the US,” Trump said in a tweet.
US presidential candidates often visit Israel while campaigning as part of efforts to shore up their foreign policy credentials.
Beyond that, Netanyahu has regularly expressed support for Republicans in the United States, and firm backing for Israel has become a decisive issue for the party.
But the Trump visit had already stirred strong opposition in Israel, with a range of lawmakers voicing hostility to it because of his comments.
Trump made his remarks on Muslims after last week’s mass shooting in California by a Muslim couple said to have been radicalized.
Painting Trump as a “carnival barker” with “fake hair” whose campaign belonged in the “dustbin of history,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Trump’s plan should disqualify him from office.
The billionaire hotel magnate, who currently leads Republican polls by double-digit margins over his nearest rivals, has warned he may launch a third party campaign if uneasy conservatives move against him.
That could all but kill Republican chances of beating Hillary Clinton, if she is indeed the eventual Democratic nominee, say observers.
Restaurant refuses to act as food and slurs are hurled at Black couple
Jerrick Jefferson told local reporters that a customer hurled the slur at him and his wife while visiting the J. Alexander restaurant in West Bloomfield, Michigan.
Trump biographer mocks president for humiliating foreign policy ‘triple fail’
Trump biographer Timothy O'Brien on Monday published a column for Bloomberg in which he mocked the president for suffering a humiliating foreign policy "triple fail" that exposed his presidency's biggest weaknesses.
In his column, O'Brien pointed out that Trump's threats of major actions against Mexico and Iran never amounted to anything, while also noting that the president backed off his plans to begin the mass deportations of undocumented immigrants.
Trump star vandal arrested for Marilyn statue theft in Hollywood
A man convicted of vandalizing President Donald Trump's sidewalk star in Hollywood last summer has been arrested for stealing a statue of Marilyn Monroe from a nearby monument.
Austin Clay, 25, was identified by police from video surveillance footage.
Having discovered that he was on parole after a conviction for damaging Trump's star on the famous Hollywood "Walk of Fame," investigators searched his home Friday.
According to local media reports, they found evidence linking him to the theft of the statue.
The statue itself -- showing Monroe in her famous flying skirt pose from "The Seven Year Itch" (1955) -- has not been found.