WASHINGTON (JTA) — David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel and a longtime friend of President Donald Trump, said Trump’s reaction to the deadly violence at a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Va. “wasn’t fine,” but he also faulted the media for being unfair to the president.
Trump is doing a “great job,” Friedman told Israel’s Channel 10 News in an interview. “He’s treated very unfairly in the media; people should give him a chance.”
Asked about the deadly Aug. 12 violence in Charlottesville, when an alleged white supremacist rammed his car into a crowd, killing one person during counterprotests, Friedman said, “These incidents don’t reflect who he is, what the U.S. administration is.”
Pressed by a reporter as to whether Trump’s reaction was “fine,” Friedman said, “I think the reaction wasn’t fine.”
Trump’s first reaction after the attack was to say “both sides” — white supremacists and counterprotesters — were to blame. Two days later he named white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan as responsible, but the following day he said there were “very fine people” on both sides.
“I’d rather talk about Boeing today,” Friedman told the reporter. He was celebrating the arrival of El Al’s first Boeing 787.