Despite Deleting Tweet, Trump (Re)affirms It Was 'An Honor' to Host Abbas

The original tweet, posted on the president's personal account shortly after the White House meeting with Abbas, was deleted after it had been shared by thousands

The original Trump tweet on Abbas's visit on May 3, 2017, and was deleted a day later.
The original Trump tweet on Abbas's visit on May 3, 2017, and was deleted a day later. Screen grab

WASHINGTON - Two days after a tweet praising Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was mysteriously erased from President Donald Trump's private twitter account, the White House said that while it did not know why the tweet was taken down, the president stands by the original message that it was "an honor" for him to host Abbas in the White House.

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Trump put out the tweet on Wednesday afternoon, shortly after Abbas left the White House, and while the Palestinian President was meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. "An honor to host President Mahmoud Abbas at the WH today," it said. "Hopefully something terrific could come out it between the Palestinians and Israel." Perhaps the typo in the second sentence, with the word "it" being out of context, was what caused the tweet to later be erased.

A spokesman for the National Security Council told the New York Times on Saturday that the White House has not changed its mind on Abbas, stating that "we stand by the message."

And unlike the tweet, Trump did not remove a similarly optimistic post about the meeting with Abbas from his personal Facebook page. A video attached to that post, showing a two-minute long compilation from within the meeting, had received more than 700,000 views as of Saturday. Many of the responses to it, however, came from frustrated Trump supporters who wondered why he was hosting the Palestinian leader.