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‘I Will Throw Them Out’: Trump Tells Jewish Donors He’ll Deport Pro-Palestinian Protesters

In a closed meeting with Jewish donors, Trump promises swift action against student protesters if elected, while affirming Israel's right to conduct its 'war on terror' in contradiction to previous statements calling to end the war.

Former President Donald Trump arrives at Manhattan criminal court for closing arguments in his criminal hush money trial in New York, on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (Andrew Kelly/Pool Photo via AP),

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump recently told a group of Jewish donors that he will deport pro-Palestinian campus protestors, according to a new Washington Post report.

On May 14, Trump held a private round-table event with supporters who he referred to as "98% of his Jewish friends," where he reportedly told them, "One thing I do is, any student that protests, I will throw them out of the country."

"You know, there are a lot of foreign students," the second term presidential hopeful went on to say. "As soon as they hear that, they're going to behave." According to the report, Trump also called the demonstrators part of a "radical revolution" that he vowed to defeat and praised the New York Police Department for clearing out Columbia University's anti-Israel encampment before encouraging other cities to follow suit.

"Well, if you get me elected, and you should really be doing this, if you get me reelected, we're going to set that movement back 25 or 30 years," he said, according to event participants, who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity.

Trump then pivoted to talking about the current war in Gaza, telling the group of wealthy donors that he believes Israel has a right to continue what he called "its war on terror."

"When President Trump is back in the Oval Office, Israel will once again be protected, Iran will go back to being broke, terrorists will be hunted down, and the bloodshed will end," Karoline Leavitt, the campaign's national press secretary, wrote in an email to the Washington Post but declined to answer any of the newspaper's specific questions.

Pro- Palestinian students and protesters sit at an encampment at Columbia University in April.  (Credit: Marco Postigo Storel,AP / Haaretz)

Trump's comments at the May 14 event echo some of the comments he made last month in an interview for Times Magazine, in which he cast his doubts on the feasibility of a two-state solution and vowed to protect Israel were it to get into a war with Iran. "I have been very loyal to Israel, more loyal than any other president," Trump stated in the interview. "I've done more for Israel than any other president. Yeah, I will protect Israel."

Taken altogether, this most recent round of messaging from the Trump campaign is somewhat inconsistent with previous statements the presidential incumbent has made regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

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In a March interview with the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom, Trump took a more critical stance, saying, "You have to finish up your war. To finish it up. You gotta get it done." Then in April, he told conservative talk show radio host Hugh Hewitt that he thought the war was bad for Israel's image and that it was "absolutely losing the PR war."

One name that was noticeably absent from Trump's remarks at the fundraiser was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to John Bolton, Trump's former national security adviser and frequent critic of his former boss, there is no love lost between the two men, dating back to Trump's time in the White House when he did not feel Netanyahu gave him enough credit for all he did for Israel, a list of which Trump often brings up in interviews and public appearances.

"He doesn't like Netanyahu…" Bolten told the Post. "It's because Bibi is one of the premier democratic politicians in the world in terms of getting publicity about himself and Trump resents that."

"Trump fundamentally sees Netanyahu as getting credit for things Trump thinks he ought to get credit for," Bolten added.

Trump, who has not spoken directly to Netanyahu in years, further distanced himself from the prime minister in 2020 after he acknowledged Biden's presidential victory in an election that Trump claimed had been stolen from him. According to the Washington Post report, some influential Republican donors, among them mega donor Miriam Adelson, have pressed Trump to extend his publicly expressed support for Israel to the country's embattled leader as well.

According to those who were present at the event, Trump repeatedly expressed frustration that Jewish Americans did not vote for him as much as he believes they should. "How can a Jewish person vote for a Democrat, and Biden in particular," he reportedly asked the group. "But forget Biden. They always let you down," he said, referring to Democrats.

It's a comment Trump has made before and one that has triggered backlash from Jewish Americans who have labeled his statements regarding Jewish loyalty as antisemitic rhetoric, something Trump indirectly addressed at the event when he told the audience that he had studied Jewish history and had thoughts about this moment in U.S. history.

"And you know, you go back through history, this is like just before the Holocaust. I swear. If you look, it's the same thing," Trump said. "You had a weak president or head of the country. And it just built and built. And then, all of a sudden, you ended up with Hitler. You ended up with a problem like nobody knew."