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Friday, May 26, 2017

And the White House DoDo bird lives on to embarrass America another day

Here’s what just happened: Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were about to leave a scheduled press availability — the room was already filled with noisy chatter. Trump and Netanyahu are called back for one last handshake photo. The press gaggle, as it always does, continues to shout out questions, even though it seemed the time for answers has ended. Netanyahu calls out, “Intelligence cooperation is terrific!”
Then Trump offers up his own off-script pronouncement. “Just so you understand,” he says, quieting the press, “just so you understand — I never mentioned the word or the name Israel in conversation. Never mentioned it.” As he’s talking, a clearly horrified Netanyahu’s eyes dart everywhere.
“They are all saying I did,” Trump continues, unaware. “Never mentioned the word Israel.”
But actually no one had said Trump used the word “Israel.” The reports only said that during a visit in the Oval Office, Trump had casually discussed highly classified intelligence with the Russians that, it turns out, had been from Israel — and thus shouldn’t have been disclosed to the Russians without getting Israel’s permission first.
And no one in either administration — Israel’s or the United States’ — had officially confirmed the intelligence was in fact from Israel.
That is, until Trump seems to have done so just now.

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