At a pro-Israel conference, US president Donald Trump told Jewish voters they'd vote for him to avoid a wealth tax
- In a speech at a pro-Israel conference, President Donald Trump said Jewish voters should vote for him because they would "be out of business in about 15 minutes" otherwise.
- He also said that some Jewish people "don't love Israel enough."
- The crowd at the Israeli American Council national summit responded enthusiastically, chanting "four more years" and "12 more years" after Trump said some people say he wouldn't step down after two terms.
- Trump also touted his own accomplishments, including moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
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In his speech to the Israeli American Council, President Donald Trump implied that avoiding a Democratic wealth tax was so important issue to Jewish people that they will vote for him even if they don't like him.
"You're not going to vote for the wealth tax," Trump said, The Washington Post reported. "Even if you don't like me, some of you don't… you're going to be my biggest supporters because you'll be out of business in about 15 minutes."
Trump also said some Jewish people "are great people" but "they don't love Israel enough."
The crowd responded enthusiastically, chanting "four more years." At one point in his 45-minute speech, Trump relayed an anecdote about people saying he wouldn't step down even after two terms, something the president said "we have to start thinking about," because "it's not a bad idea."
The crowd responded by chanting "12 more years."
The national summit for the pro-Israel group was held in Hollywood, Florida for an audience of more than 4,300 people. Trump heralded his own accomplishments that he said were beneficial to Israelis, including moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, a move that will cost $21 million (R307 million), more than 100 times what the president said it would.
He also touted pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2017 and eliminating funding for the Palestinian Authority. He addressed peace in the Middle East, saying "If Jared Kushner can't do it, it can't be done."
Trump has a 29% approval rating with Jewish voters nationwide, but is popular among some conservative Jewish voters, such as those in the room Saturday night. The president also spoke privately to Florida GOP voters on his trip to drum up support in the state ahead of the 2020 election.
In line with his comments about the wealth tax, he also referred to Senator Elizabeth Warren as Pocahontas and said those in the room wouldn't vote for her and her "100 percent wealth tax," a mischaracterisation of the candidate's policy proposals. He also attacked Representative Ilhan Omar and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Trump compared himself favourably to President Barack Obama, who he said had not done enough for Israel.
"I don't think they liked Israel too much, I'm sorry," he said. "After eight years [in] which our alliance was undermined and neglected, I am happy to report the United States-Israeli relationship is stronger now than ever before."
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