NSA O'Brien: Years From Now Trump Will Be Known As A "Peacemaker" | Video | RealClearPolitics

NSA O'Brien: Years From Now Trump Will Be Known As A "Peacemaker"


National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien discussed the administration’s new Middle East peace agreement between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain in an interview on FOX News with "Special Report" host Bret Baier.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS:  Confrontation of the century. And you heard the president before that talking about a possible deal with Iran after the election.
How do you track both of those statements?
ROBERT O'BRIEN, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER:  Well, listen, with respect to Iran, the president was the -- one of the reasons we have peace breaking out with the Arab and Israeli sides is because the president got out of the terrible JCPOA that gave the Iranians $150 billion and sanctions relief and put them on path -- the pathway to a nuclear weapon.
We have gotten out of that. We put maximum pressure on the Iranians. As a result, the Israelis and the Arab countries that have been harassed and molested by Iran for so many years had renewed confidence both in us as a partner, but in each other. And so we're seeing the direct fruits of -- in these peace agreements of the president's tough action Iran.
With respect to the Palestinians, the president has come forward with the most comprehensive plan for peace between Israel and Palestine ever. And that vision for Middle East peace that senior adviser Kushner and Secretary Pompeo, myself and others have been working on throughout the region gives the Palestinians an opportunity to double their GDP.
It calls for a two-state solution to the Palestinian impasse. It provides territorial integrity for the Palestinians. It's a terrific offer for the -- a terrific first offer for the Palestinians come to the table.
So, we really hope they take advantage of this opportunity, as peace is breaking out, to come to the table with the Israelis, to be supported by their Arab brethren, and to reach a peace deal. And it would be just terrific for their -- especially for the young Palestinians.
I mean, this is an older government. There's a lot of corruption in the Palestinian Authority. We'd like to see young Palestinians who want a great future and want to participate in the technological boom that's taking place in Israel and across certain parts of the Middle East, like UAE.
We want them to be part of it and have a great future. The president loves them, and we want to see a great deal.
BAIER:  Yes.
I just want to get your thoughts on how this changed behind the scenes. At the beginning of the administration, a lot of your critics were saying this was not possible. Then the embassy move to Jerusalem was said to cause an explosion on the Arab street. John Kerry said that at the time.
Yet those things didn't happen, and this did happen. Why?
O'BRIEN:  Well, what I have said before is, the president came into office, and he was known as a deal-maker, and he'd written "Art of the Deal."
I think he's going to leave office, hopefully four years from now, and he's going to be known as a peacemaker. And what he did is, he took a radically different approach than the Washington foreign policy establishment would take.
He recognized the facts on the ground in Israel, and moved our embassy to Israel's capital, Jerusalem. Everyone knew it was the capital of Israel. Every presidential candidate promised to do so. The president kept his promise. He recognized the Golan Heights. So, we developed a tremendous amount of political capital with Israel.
At the same time, we got out of the terrible JCPOA, which had alienated our Gulf Arab friends in Saudi Arabia and in the UAE and Bahrain and other countries, Kuwait, other countries in the Gulf. So, he developed tremendous credibility with the Gulf states.
And he used that political capital that he gained with both Israel and with the Gulf states, which many politicians never want to do. But he used that political capital to bring them to the table and to really push for an agreement that would be great for both sides.
And, today, we saw the fruits of it. So, I'm -- I couldn't be more prouder to serve under President Trump today, which is really a day, a historic day of peace.
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