The red carpet moments on the tarmac kept coming.
President Donald Trump had a bumpy landing in Israel on Monday with a series of apparent faux pas, from the first lady slapping away his hand to a lawmaker whipping out a cell phone to take a selfie with him.
Trump arrived in Tel Aviv for a two-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories and as he tried to take his wife’s hand on a red carpet on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion International Airport, the first lady appeared to push it back. It was unclear what prompted the videotaped moment.
Oren Hazan, a politician in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Likud party did take his hand in what The Associated Press described as a characteristically aggressive handshake, then took out his a cell phone for a selfie. Netanyahu tried to swat Hazan’s arm away, unsuccessfully, and Likud politicians later said that not only was Hazan not invited to the ceremony but that he had caused “a great embarrassment” to the prime minister.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett used the welcome ceremony to press Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Trump, who had promised during the campaign to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem but has since backed away from the pledge, told Bennett, “That’s a good one,” according to the AP.
Boarding the Marine One helicopter for Jerusalem, Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, was caught on microphone commiserating about media coverage.
“The majority of people in Israel, unlike the media, they love us, so we tell them how you are great, and they love you,” she said, the Washington Post reported.
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“We have something very much in common,” Trump replied.
“Very much in common,” said Sara Netanyahu, who has come under media attention as the subject of official investigation over her spending on the couple’s private home.
Trump soon found himself defending an Oval Office meeting on May 10 when he disclosed classified information about an Islamic State threat to the Russian former minister and ambassador to the United States. The information came from Israel, according to officials.
“I never mentioned the word or the name Israel,” he said.
But he never was accused of naming Israel, just of revealing enough details that could lead others to that realization.