Trump, Netanyahu speak by phone, Israeli media reports, but don’t discuss intelligence leaks

JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) — President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have spoken by phone in the wake of the revelation that the U.S. president shared Israeli intelligence with Russia.

The conversation took place late on Tuesday afternoon in Israel, Israeli media reported, citing unnamed senior officials.  It is not known who initiated the call, which reportedly lasted 20 minutes.

Neither the White House nor the Prime Minister’s Office issued statements saying that the conversation took place, as they usually do.

Trump and Netanyahu reportedly only discussed the U.S. president’s upcoming visit to Israel, which also has been marked by controversy over issues of the Western Wall and the status of Jerusalem. Trump is scheduled to arrive in Israel on May 22 and leave on May 23. U.S. officials announced ahead of the call that neither Netanyahu nor any other Israeli officials will be permitted to accompany Trump on his visit to the Western Wall.

ADVERTISEMENT


According to Haaretz, the call did not touch on Trump’s disclosure of classified information provided by Israel to the U.S. during Trump’s meeting last week with Russian officials. It also did not deal with the status of the Western Wall, the unnamed Israeli official told Haaretz.

The call between Trump and Netanyahu came immediately after Trump placed a call to King Abdullah II of Jordan, a call that was announced by the White House.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman paid tribute to U.S.-Israel ties in posts in both English and Hebrew on Twitter.

“The security relationship between Israel & our greatest ally the United States, is deep, significant & unprecedented in volume,” read one tweet. “This relationship w/ the US is unprecedented in its contribution to our strength. This is how it has been & how it will continue to be,” read the second.

Sign up for Your Morning Light