White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Friday that President Trump is still committed to eventually moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, even though he delayed that move this week.
"The question is not if a move happens, but when," Spicer told a reporter.
Trump was criticized for signing a waiver on Thursday that suspends the embassy's move to Jerusalem for six months. This waiver is under the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which included language requiring the U.S. Embassy to be moved to Jerusalem, but also allows a waiver that has been used since the law took effect.
Moving the embassy to Jerusalem was one of Trump's campaign promises, and some supporters worried that this is one promise he would fail to keep.
"I think when the president signed the waiver under the Jerusalem Embassy Act and delayed moving the embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no one should consider this step in any way to be a retreat from the president's strong support for Israel and for the U.S.-Israeli relationship," Spicer said. "The president made this decision to maximize the chance of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling a solemn obligation to defend America's national security interest."
Trump's decision to delay moving the embassy comes after his first overseas trip where he visited Israel and met with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.