Hearings

Senate panel backs Trump's pick for US envoy to Israel

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved President Donald Trump's pick for U.S. ambassador to Israel.

Members of the Republican-led panel on Thursday voted 12-9 — largely along party lines — to recommend the full Senate consider David Friedman's nomination.

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez voted with the committee's 11 Republicans in favor of the nomination.

Friedman is a combative attorney who once worked as Trump's bankruptcy lawyer. He sought to use his confirmation hearing a month ago to repair the damage from his past verbal attacks on political opponents. Friedman assured senators he regretted using inflammatory language and promised to be "respectful and measured" if confirmed.

Other Democrats on the committee say Friedman's record of divisive statements can't be erased and compromises his effectiveness in the important post.