President-elect Donald Trump ran a campaign that defied convention, winning in a dramatic upset that prior to the election had been deemed unlikely if not impossible by most political insiders.
Now he’s setting his sights on a goal widely considered out of reach, once again ignoring popular opinion and suggesting he may be the one to achieve that which has eluded every president since Truman: a lasting peace between Israel and her neighbors.
Speaking to The New York Times in an hour-long sit-down interview which was published late Tuesday night, Trump shared his views on a wide range of subjects, including the prospects for a Middle East peace and the role his son-in-law Jared Kushner may have in crafting that peace.
While Trump has long rejected America’s role as “a nation builder”, a stark contrast from the last Republican to occupy the White House, he expressed a strong desire to help make peace in the Middle East.
“I would love to be able to be the one that made peace with Israel and the Palestinians,” Trump said.
The president-elect was confident that the goal was achievable, and that he may be specially equipped to succeed where so many others have failed.
“A lot of people tell me, really great people tell me, that it’s impossible — you can’t do it. I disagree. I think you can make peace,” said Trump, adding, “I have reason to believe I can do it.”
Trump also hinted that Kushner, an Orthodox Jew, may be given a special role in promoting peace in the region, saying he “could be very helpful”.
Kushner, said Trump, “would be very good at it,” noting that he “knows the region.”