DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa was pressed Friday by Sandra Smith on why Democratic presidential candidates are skipping the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee conference.

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Rep. Julian Castro of Texas, Sen. Kamala Harris of California and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts all announced they will not attend or speak at the AIPAC forum.

Sandra Smith asked Hinojosa about that development, as AIPAC is a largely nonpartisan organization and represents Jewish interests in America. She asked what message Democrats are sending about their support for Israel.

"Democrats have been very clear where they stand with their support for Israel," Hinojosa said, adding that she would like to see a "two-state solution."


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She said that Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is using a visit to the United States to help his reelection bid, as he faces a corruption indictment back in Jerusalem.

Hinojosa said it is "up to every candidate" whether they want to attend the AIPAC conference and that it should not be seen as a "political game" if they do or do not.

"We will never waver in our support for Israel," she added.

The party faced an uproar earlier this month over comments by freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), a strong critic of Israel, which many deemed anti-Semitic. President Trump and Republicans blasted House Democrats for passing a broad resolution against bigotry that failed to condemn Omar's comments specifically.

In remarks outside the White House Friday morning, President Trump blasted the decision by the candidates to skip the AIPAC gathering, saying Democrats have proven to be "anti-Jewish" and against Israel.



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