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Trump hosts first White House Hannukah party

Trump hosts first White House Hannukah party”

As Trump entered the event, his first words were - "I know there are a lot of happy people here, Jerusalem", to a roaring applause from the crowd, a relatively small one compared to past White House Hannukah events.

President Trump hosted the annual Hanukkah reception at the White House Thursday evening, a day after his controversial decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "You do have faith and you do have resilience", Trump said.

Trump noticeably mispronounced "states", when concluding an address to the nation on his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"I am also proud that my handsome grandchildren - Arabella, Joseph and Theodore - have joined us tonight right here as we celebrate with all of you the sacred traditions that they observe each year at home", Trump said.

Those in opposition to Trump's move contest the US's genuine commitment to the peace process, arguing instead that the Jerusalem declaration has "destroyed" the two state solution, further removing the possibility of the U.S. performing its longstanding role as an impartial mediator.

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Trump introduced Rabbi Meir Yaakov Soloveichik of Congregation Shearith Israel, America's first Jewish congregation, and presented the first of two special menorahs to be lit at the celebration. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer was present, however, who is affiliated with the Democratic Party.

Trump spoke of the "miracle of the Maccabees", who led to Hanukkah and how "they found only enough oil to light the lamp for a single night".

Representatives from Jewish groups, who disagree with Mr Trump recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital, were also omitted from the guest-list.

The White House denied that politics played a role in the invitations.

Sanders said Trump was scheduled to have a routine medical exam "early next year" at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, as most presidents have done historically.

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