Politics ESSENTIAL WASHINGTON

Essential Washington

Here's our look at the Trump administration and the rest of Washington.

Who really wants Trump to recognize Jerusalem? His evangelical supporters at home

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin listens as President Trump speaks in Jerusalem in May. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin listens as President Trump speaks in Jerusalem in May. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

President Trump summed up a central reason for declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel — one of the most consequential and globally risky decisions of his presidency — in a single statement.

"While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver," he said from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House on Wednesday. "Today, I am delivering."

The decision may have alarmed prime ministers, presidents, kings and their subjects around the world. But it fit neatly into Trump's political calculus and personal view of his mandate.

In his view, he is the president who pushes through toward "historic" change while those around him urge equivocation. He is the president who bluntly scorns the judgment of elites. And he is the president who tallies "promises kept."

Especially important are promises to the voters Trump sees as his base, who include a strong majority of evangelical Christians.

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