Trump, Netanyahu Meeting Setting Tone for US, Israel Relations

U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talked about the Iran nuclear deal, settlements, the idea of the U.S. embassy moving to Jerusalem and a regional peace agreement in their first news conference since Trump took office.

CBN News’ David Brody asked the first question to the two leaders after both men spoke.

He first asked about the leaks involved with the ousting of Trump’s first national security adviser – Michael Flynn.

Trump replied that Flynn is a “wonderful man” who was treated “very, very unfairly” by the media.

He also told reporters at the news conference with Netanyahu that he thinks “it’s really a sad thing” how things happened with Flynn – he also called the leaks “illegal.” Trump pledge to go after those who leaked the information to the press.

Brody also asked the president and prime minister if they were on the same page when it comes to settlements.

“As far as settlements, I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit. We’ll work something out but I would like to see a deal be made. I think a deal will be made… BB and I have known each other a long time, a smart man, great negotiator and I think we’re going to make a deal. It might be a bigger and better deal than people in this room even understand. That’s a possibility so let’s see what we do,” Trump answered.

Netanyahu didn’t comment and Trump joked that he didn’t seem too excited about that but that they would work out something.

The news conference started out with Trump and Netanyahu talking about the relationship between the two nations. “With this visit the United States again reaffirms our unbreakable bond with our cherished ally Israel. The partnership between our two countries, built on our shared values has advanced the cause human freedom, dignity and peace. These are the building blocks of democracy,” Trump said.

“The state of Israel is a symbol of the world of resilience in the face oppression. I can think of no other state that’s gone through what they’ve gone (through), and of survival in the face of genocide. We will never forget what the Jewish people have endured,” Trump also said.

“Israel has no better ally than the United States. And, I want to assure you, the United States has no better ally than Israel,” Netanyahu said in his opening remarks.

“Our alliance has been remarkably strong. But under your leadership, I’m confident it will get even stronger. I look forward to working with you to dramatically upgrade our alliance in every field. In security, in technology, in cyber and in trade and so many others,” Netanyahu told Trump.

“I certainly welcome your forthright call to ensure that Israel is treated fairly in international forums and that the slander and boycotts of Israel are resisted mightily by the power and world position of the United States of America,” Netanyahu also said.

Trump said the Iran nuclear deal is the worst deal he’s ever seen. It’s expected to be a big part of their meetings while Netanyahu is in the United States.

They will also talk about the possibility of a regional peace agreement – getting other Middle East nations involved in peace talks between Israel and Palestine.