Donald Trump Misleadingly Said the Embassy Had Already Been Built

Type: Misleading StatementsSep 06 2018 Severity:
About: Foreign Policy
President Trump attended a rally to support Matt Rosendale, a candidate for the Montana Senate. Later in the speech, Trump claimed the embassy in Jerusalem had already been built, and they were ahead of budget and schedule. The U.S. spent $400,000 to upgrade a consular facility, relabeling it an embassy. However, it also signed a contract for more than $20 million in security upgrades, bringing the initial cost up to 100 times more than Trump’s claim. Also, it's only a temporary building. An embassy typically costs between $500 million and $1 billion.

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Quote | He told a Montana crowd that the embassy in Jerusalem had already been built.

"The embassy is already built. It's built about 20 years ahead of budget and schedule. I would say we're probably about 20 years — you know that story, I'm not going to tell it — but we built it real fast. We have the best location. They're all looking for a location. And a friend of mine, the ambassador to Israel, said, oh, but we already have the best piece of land in all of Israel. Best piece of land in Jerusalem. And we have a building on it. Let's renovate it. So instead of spending $1.2 billion, we spent $400,000. That was a sale,” Trump said at a Montana rally.