In a press conference in Israel Monday, Trump wanted to make it crystal clear that it wasn’t him who leaked the name of Israel as the United States’ intel source for a piece of classified information he accidentally passed along to two top Russia diplomats two weeks ago.
However, no one has ever said that the president said something about Israel during that meeting. Nonetheless, the president had a sudden urge to defend himself.
Understand, I never mentioned the word or the name ‘Israel.’ Never mentioned that during that conversation,
Trump told Israeli reporters.
He added that the entire media said that he did mention the word Israel which is just false. His statement was a response to a journalist’s question directed at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the impact of the U.S. president’s intel gaffe.
Netanyahu replied that Israel doesn’t think the incident will affect the U.S.-Israeli relationships seconds before Trump intervened with his ill-conceived clarification.
The incident Israeli journalists were so worried about happened on May 10, when Trump met with two top Russian officials in a closed-door Oval Office meeting. The White House press corps was denied access to the secret meeting, while the Russian state press was allowed in. In that meeting, the president leaked ‘highly classified information’ to the Russians who included the controversial Russian envoy to the United States Sergei Lavrov.
Trump Lacks Basic Understanding of Diplomacy
A day after, Trump explained on Twitter that he relayed the info for the right reasons. He said that the information which was referring to terrorism and airline flight safety was passed on to Russia to encourage the country “step up their fight against ISIS” and other terrorist groups.
Despite Trump’s best intentions, he seemingly lacks the capability to understand the nuances of diplomacy. In his recent trip around the world, he made some statements that reinforce that belief. For instance, he said he couldn’t grasp why Israel and Palestinians cannot get along. “There is no reason there’s not peace between Israel and the Palestinians – none whatsoever,” the president added.
Image Source: White House.gov