NEW YORK — Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), who led the official House delegation that attended the U.S. Embassy opening in Jerusalem, confirmed that he personally invited Democrats to join the official Congressional trip to Israel for the May 14th ceremony.
Speaking to Breitbart News, Wilson stated categorically that there is “no question” that Democratic Congressmen were invited by his office to travel with the delegation for the event. Wilson said he made it a point try to put together a bipartisan delegation to attend the Jerusalem embassy opening.
In the end, not a single currently serving Democratic lawmaker went to the inauguration of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Democrats were also a no-show for an Israeli embassy celebratory event in Washington several hours after the U.S. Embassy opening ceremony in Israel.
A letter from Democratic members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee was addressed to President Donald Trump’s Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, complaining that they received “no invitation from the White House to participate in the official delegation to visit Jerusalem for this moment of historic occasion.”
The Democrats were responding to an interview with the Axios website last week in which Friedman said he “was very concerned that no Democrats showed up.”
However, according to Wilson, the Democratic authors of the letter are being disingenuous as Friedman was not involved in organizing the official Congressional delegation.
As the organizer of that delegation, Wilson explained that his office invited Democrats as well as Republicans.
Wilson described personally calling several Democratic Congressmen himself and says he was told by each one that they could not attend. “One indicated a wedding and unable to attend,” said Wilson. “And then another indicated a graduation and unable to attend. And then another that I spoke to personally indicated that it was Mother’s Day, and so it was a conflict.”
Wilson further said his chief of staff, Jonathan Day, extended invitations to more Democratic and Republican Congressmen.
In his Axios interview, Friedman himself explained that he did not organize any of the official delegations and that he wanted Democrats to attend.
“We would have been delighted to host as many Democratic congressmen and senators as would have come,” Friedman said:
The invitation was open to all, or I should actually say we made it clear that everybody was welcome. We didn’t specifically invite anyone. The Republican congressmen and senators who came did not come on the basis of a specific invitation. They reached out and they came. I would have been more than happy to host Democratic leaders and I hope they come in the future. From my perspective, American support for Israel needs to be bipartisan and I am going to do everything I can to support visits from legislators — blue or red.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.