President Trump To Meet With Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu Monday

Ex-Netanyahu aide, businessman released and put under house arrest

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Both he and Trump, who's dealing with the Russian Federation investigation, say they're not concerned.

"I may. I may", Trump said in response to questions by a reporter during brief remarks at the White House alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Instead he offered an enthusiastic assessment of their ties. "This is a great gift to our nation", Netanyahu said. "I think we have a very good chance", he said. "I think we're as close now as maybe ever before".

The Trump family has legal problems of its own.

Meanwhile, Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and point man on the Middle East, has had his security clearance downgraded amid revelations about potential conflicts of interest.

That decision came at the behest of chief of staff John Kelly, who wants to bring order to the system of accessing classified information at the White House.

He claimed that taking the Jerusalem issue "off the table" would in fact boost the Middle East peace process. Netanyahu's visit to Washington has been interpreted as something of a victory lap.

It was evident even before the Netanyahus arrived at the South Portico on Monday that Kushner would play a role in the visit. "And as you just said, others talked about it; you did it". The administration has hinted they are close to revealing a plan.

East Jerusalem has been occupied by Israel since 1967 and the Palestinian leadership has outright rejected a mediating role for the USA after the move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. "That was a decision that I had to make".

"I'm very grateful to him for this historic decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and to move the American embassy to Jerusalem on our independence day".

The official move is set to take place on 14 May 2018, the 70th anniversary of the creation of the Israeli state.


Mr Trump's push to change or scrap Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and concerns over Tehran's foothold in Syria topped the agenda of his talks with Mr Netanyahu, US and Israeli officials said. "If I can, I will".

"And we seek also to broaden that peace to the Palestinians". He also compared the president to the Persian King Cyrus who allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their Holy Temple; to Lord Balfour, whose declaration provided United Kingdom support for a Jewish State in the Land of Israel; and to U.S. President Harry Truman, who recognized the State of Israel.

Trump and Netanyahu were expected to discuss Iran's growing influence in Syria and the USA nuclear deal brokered by former President Obama at Monday's meeting.

Trump has threatened to pull out of the agreement unless European allies help "fix" it with a follow-up accord. It came out of this nuclear deal emboldened, enriched.

In recent months, he has warned that Israel will retaliate against Iran for what he says is an Iranian military buildup along Israel's border with Syria and Lebanon.

"Other leaders talked about it", said Netanyahu.

In coming to Washington, Netanyahu was hoping to escape political turmoil back home.

Officials told Hadashot TV on Friday that suspicions against Netanyahu in the Case 4000 investigation are more serious than the accusations in two earlier cases, 1000 and 2000, in which police have recommended he be indicted for fraud, breach of trust, and bribery.

An aide to Netanyahu immediately denounced the reports and proclaimed the long-serving prime minister's innocence.

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