White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was asked on Sunday about comments that reportedly came from the White House disparaging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, alleging that the Jewish leader would “pay a price” for accepting an invitation to speak before a joint meeting of Congress.
The report came from the Israeli daily Haaretz Friday, which claimed a senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the paper the Israeli leader had “spat” in the face of the Obama administration, and that “there will be a price” to pay at some point down the road.
When McDonough appeared on NBC’s “Meet The Press” Sunday, anchor Chuck Todd asked about the veracity of the article, specifically asking, “what price” Netanyahu would pay.
The chief of staff at first tried to ignore the question and said, “I don’t know who you’re talking about there …”
“This is nobody at the White House,” Todd Interrupted.
“I can’t guarantee that,” McDonough said. “It’s not me, it’s not the president, and it’s not what we believe.”
Then he launched into a statement having nothing to do with Todd’s line of questioning.
“We think that, as a general matter, we, the United States, has stayed out of internal politics in the countries of our closest allies,” he said.
Translation: McDonough either doesn’t know who talked to the Israeli publication, or doesn’t want to say.
Haaretz, Israel’s oldest daily newspaper, is often compared to The New York Times and “is known for its staunch left-liberal stance on domestic and foreign issues,” according to Wikipedia.
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