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JI Interview: RJC’s Matt Brooks Talks Trump

Friday, January 20, 2017  
By Jacob Kornbluh

As Donald Trump prepares to take the oath of office as the 45th President of the United States of America, we spoke with Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks  about what to expect from President Trump in the first 100 days, and how the RJC will play a major role in the Trump Administration.

...Brooks on the U.S.-relationship under President Trump: “There can be no doubt in anybody’s mind in the Jewish community that President Trump is going to be a radical departure from President Obama, who systematically weakened and undermined the U.S.-Israel relationship over the last eight years with his administration. You’ve seen it precisely by the people that he has appointed to key positions already. Whether it’s David Friedman as the nominee for Ambassador (to Israel), whether it’s Nikki Haley, who was phenomenal yesterday in her hearings to be ambassador to the UN. Jason Greenblatt and the significant role that Jared Kushner is going to have. He is surrounding himself with folks who are unabashedly supportive of Israel and are willing to stand up and defend Israel in the international community and in international forums like the UN, something that we have not seen during the last eight years of the Obama administration.”

On the role the RJC will play going forward: “What I think I see is really several important factors. Number one, to be there as a resource for the Administration, to help advise and provide counsel where needed on critical issues to the incoming administration. Our role, by the way, despite many organizations in the Jewish community, we are very unique in that when we speak to senior members of the administration, we speak to the President or the Vice President, those meetings are very different than any meetings in the Jewish community, because they know that when they meet with us, it’s a meeting between friends and supporters. The advice will give them is advice that is from the heart and we’re all on the same team, and they know that there is a bond between the RJC and this administration that makes our counsel, I think, a little more significant. We have that role.”

“Number two is to help the salesmen and help make sure that the Jewish community is constantly aware of the good policies and the good programs and the good initiatives that the Administration is doing. Thirdly, what our mission is all of the time, is to continue to work to educate the Jewish community and broaden the base of the Republican party in the Jewish community. I’m highly confident as this President embarks on the eve of his new Administration, the policies and programs especially as it relates to restrengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship is going to go a long way in helping us to continue and grow and expand and bring more Jews into the Republican party.”

Q: What will the relationship between the Trump administration and Jewish American organizations look like?

I have no doubt that President Trump would be able to work with any of the organizations or folks in the Jewish community if there’s an opportunity to do so...

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