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Cloud of scandal hangs over Trump-Netanyahu meeting

Netanyahu Trump
Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in the Oval Office Monday for the first time since the U.S. officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel — and since police recommended Netanyahu be indicted on corruption charges.

Trump's claim that the relationship between the two countries "has never been better" was cheerfully reciprocated by Netanyahu, who said the president is following in the footsteps of Cyrus the Great and Lord Arthur Balfour as a friend of the Jewish people.

Highlights

  • Trump told Netanyahu that he is looking into traveling to Israel for the inauguration of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on May 14. He also claimed that he negotiated the cost of the embassy down to $250,000 from $1 billion.
  • On tariffs, Trump said, "No, we're not backing down. We've had a very bad deal with Mexico, a very bad deal with Canada. It's called NAFTA." He added that the tariffs will remain in place unless he gets a "fair NAFTA deal," but that he "doesn't think you're going to have a trade war."
  • "If I had to say what is the greatest challenge in the Middle East to both of our countries, and our Arab neighbors, it is encapsulated in one word: Iran," Netanyahu said. "Iran must be stopped. That is our common challenge."
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