PASSING THE BUCK

Netanyahu Calls Out Fox News for ‘Lie’ About Embassy Relocation

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has published transcripts of a meeting between U.S. President Trump and the Israeli leader to challenge what it says is a “lie” spread by a Fox News reporter. The move came after a Fox News correspondent hinted on Twitter on Monday that Netanyahu had urged Trump against relocating the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, warning that it would escalate the conflict with Palestine. Correspondent Conor Powell wrote that he’d spoken with people in D.C. who’d “been briefed” to that effect. Netanyahu’s office quickly rejected that claim, however. “The report on Fox News is a lie. Netanyahu supports moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. This is Prime Minister Netanyahu’s clear and consistent position, which was also stated today,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement, apparently referring to Powell’s comments, and not a full report broadcast on the TV channel. Plans for relocating the embassy have been a matter of debate since Trump’s first days in office, with his administration publicly expressing support for the move despite fears it would enflame regional tensions. On Sunday, however, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled that Trump’s administration was not fully decided on the move, saying the president was “being very careful” and taking feedback from Israel. Transcripts of a Feb. 15 meeting published by Netanyahu’s office showed the Israeli prime minister urging Trump to move the embassy, stressing that it would not lead to more conflict. Jacob Nagel, then the acting national security adviser, was cited in the transcripts confirming Netanyahu’s stance.