Trump Called Netanyahu, but White House and Israel Kept Mum

Israeli official said call did not focus on intel leaked by Trump to Russia, which reportedly originated in Israel; call lasted 20 minutes and took place after Trump called Jordanian king

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu taking a phone call.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu taking a phone call. Emil Salman

U.S. President Donald Trump called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday and discussed his upcoming visit to Israel, senior officials told Haaretz on Wednesday morning.

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The call, which took place shortly after Trump called Jordan's King Abdullah II on Tuesday, was not publicized by either the White House or by the Prime Minister's Office. Netanyahu's office confirmed the phone call took place.

A senior official noted that the call took place at around 5 P.M. Tuesday Israel time, as Netanyahu was about to enter an event with his finance minister. The call lasted for about twenty minutes.

The senior official noted that the call did not touch on reports according to which Trump leaked intelligence information in his meeting with the Russian foreign minister last week.

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The New York Times reported Tuesday that the source of the information Trump gave to the Russians was Israeli intelligence.

The Israeli official told Haaretz that during their conversation, the diplomatic incident between U.S. consulate officials in Jerusalem and representatives of the prime minister's office regarding the status of the Western Wall did not come up.

"The conversation dealt with a few issues that needed to be concluded regarding President Trump's visit to Israel," said the source.

The conversation between Netanyahu and Trump took place immediately after the American president's call to Jordanian King Abdullah II. Unlike the conversation with Netanyahu, the White House announced the call to Abdullah beforehand.

Speculation in American media outlets suggested that the call to Abdullah II was made in regards to Trump's disclosure of intelligence information to Russia. On Tuesday night, the White House released a short statement on the conversation between the two.

ABC reported on Tuesday that the leak had endangered the life of an Israeli agent that had infiltrated ISIS' ranks.

According to the statement, the two leaders stressed the importance of cooperation between their countries, discussed efforts to bring Syria's civil war to a conclusion and said that there is an immediate need to put an end to the violence and solve the crisis in the country.

According to the White House statement, Trump discussed his upcoming visit to the Middle East with the king and stated America's commitment to Jordan's stability, security and prosperity and thanked Abdullah II for Jordan's contributions to the fight against ISIS.