Department of State

Scoop: Pompeo denies meeting with Israeli foreign minister, blames schedule

Israel foreign minister Israel Katz. Photo: SEBASTIAN SCHEINER/Getty Images

Israel's new foreign minister Israel Katz visited Washington, D.C., this week for the first time since he was appointed, but didn't get to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Israeli and U.S. officials say the reason given by Pompeo's office was his tight schedule.

Why it matters: This is unusual compared to previous visits to Washington by Israeli foreign ministers. Typically, a first visit to Washington by an Israeli foreign minister includes a long meeting with the secretary of state as well as a formal reception, photo opportunity and sometimes a press conference or statement.

Rex Tillerson says Jared Kushner repeatedly circumvented State Department

Rex Tillerson and Jared Kushner
Jared Kushner and Rex Tillerson. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In a closed-door interview with House Foreign Affairs Committee last month, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson detailed a number of occasions in which White House senior adviser Jared Kushner circumvented the State Department to meet with foreign officials, leaving him in the dark about key policy decisions.

LAWMAKER: "What's your reaction to a meeting of that sort having taken place without your knowledge?" ...
TILLERSON: "It makes me angry. Because I didn’t have a say. The State Department’s views were never expressed."