While President Donald Trump deals with the fallout of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn‘s resignation and a damaging New York Times report that campaign aids spoke with Russian intelligence during the presidential campaign, Trump tried to continue his foreign policy efforts with a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two leaders held a joint press conference at the White House at 12 p.m. ET. During the press conference, Trump notably refused to denounce the anti-Semitism among some of his supporters during the presidential election.
During the press conference, Trump said that he would look into a two-state solution, although he is also considering a solution that would still involve one state.
“I’m looking at a two state and one state, and I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like,” Trump said, reports ABC News. “I could live with either one. I thought for a while the two state looked like it may be the easier of the two, but honestly if Bibi [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] and if the Palestinians, if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.”
Trump also said he’d like to see Israel “hold back on settlements a little bit.”
Trump was asked if he would denounce the anti-Semitism among his supporters during and after the presidential election, with the leader of the Jewish state by his side. However, trump instead talked about how successful his campaign was.
“We are very honored by the victory we had, 306 electoral college votes,” Trump said. “We were not supposed to crack 220, you know that? There was no way to 221, but then they said there’s no way to 270. And there’s tremendous enthusiasm out there. I will say that we are going to have peace in this country. We are going to stop crime in this country. We are going to do everything we have within our power to stop long-simmering racism and every other thing that’s going on. A lot of bad things have been taking place over a long period of time. I think one of the reasons we won is that we have a very, very divided nation. Very divided. And hopefully I’ll be able to do something about that and it’s something that’s very important to me.”
Trump then noted that his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, are Jewish. He said that we’ll see “a lot of love” in the U.S. in the future.
According to a pool report, a White House official told journalists before the meeting with Netanyahu that the administration does not see a “two-state solution” as the ultimate answer to peace between Israel and Palestinians.
“Maybe, maybe not. It’s something the two sides have to agree to. It’s not for us to impose that vision. But I think we’ll find out more about that tomorrow,” the official said, adding that the term isn’t well defined. “If I ask five people what a two-state solution is, I get eight different answers.”
The official explained that the president hopes to talk about a potential meeting between the Israeli and Palestinian governments. “He’s hopeful to bring the two sides together to discuss peace,” the official said, adding that it is a “very high priority for this administration.”
One topic that will likely be discussed during Trump’s meeting with Netanyahu is potentially moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel. Last month, Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio introduced legislation to do just that, thinking that it would be easier for this to be accomplished under a Trump presidency after failed attempts under President Barack Obama.
After the press conference, Trump and Netanyahu will have a private meeting in the Oval Office and a working lunch in the cabinet room.
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