Both Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis were reportedly opposed to President Trump’s decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem due to security concerns, according to multiple news outlets.
Trump ultimately ignored their warnings that moving the embassy would endanger American diplomats and troops stationed in the Middle East and Muslim countries and announced his final decision in a nationally televised address on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.
Trump said that the United States officially recognizes Jerusalem as the “political capital” of Israel and directed the State Department to begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy there, a move that may not come for severy years.
The announcement is expected to spark protests across Israel and the larger Middle East.
In a statement released after Trump’s announcement, Tillerson said that the safety of Americans is the State Department’s highest priority, and it had “implemented robust security plans to protect the safety of Americans in affected regions.”
Tillerson noted that the State Department had “consulted with many friends, partners, and allies in advance of the President making his decision.”