The Israeli ambassador to the U.S. told reporters camped inside the Trump Tower on Thursday his government is confident the incoming Trump administration, including embattled chief adviser Steve Bannon, will remain loyal to the Middle Eastern country.

Ron Dermer stopped to make a statement as he left Trump’s offices at 3:30 p.m. Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, stood at his side.

“Israel has no doubt that President-elect Trump is a true friend of Israel,” Dermer said. “We have no doubt that Vice-President-elect Pence is a true friend of Israel, he was one of Israel’s greatest friends in the Congress, one of the most pro-Israel governors in the country, and we look forward to working with the Trump administration, with all of the members of the Trump administration, including Steve Bannon, and making the U.S.-Israel alliance stronger than ever.”

When asked why he specifically mentioned Bannon, the ambassador did not respond and was led away by Conway.

Bannon, who has served as chairman of the conservative populist Breitbart news website, has been accused by his critics this week of publishing racist, sexist and anti-Semitic stories. Breitbart has defended Bannon against the charges, saying Thursday in one story: “There are no ‘white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists’ working at, or published by, Breitbart.”

Dermer’s remarks come as Trump continues to interview candidates for various Cabinet positions, including secretary of state.

David Axelrod scolds critics of Trump's transition progress

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Axelrod noted that Obama’s transition team “hadn’t made any major appointments at this point in 2008.”

11/17/16 1:21 PM

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