Trump Ahead of Netanyahu Indictment Decision: 'He's Done a Great Job as PM'

Speaking at a summit with North Korea's Kim, U.S. President Trump says 'we have a great shot at peace' between Israel and the Palestinians

Trump at a news conference after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in Hanoi, February 28, 2019.
\ JORGE SILVA/ REUTERS

U.S. President Doland Trump said on Thursday, ahead of a decision by Israel's attorney general on whether to indict Benjamin Netanyahu of corruption, that the latter "has done a great job as prime minister."

Speaking at a press conference in Vietnam following a second summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, Trump was asked about the upcoming indictment decision. "He's tough, smart, strong," the president said on Netanyahu.

The U.S. president then spoke of his plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, a plan said to be unveiled following Israel's April 9 general election.

Trump voices support of Netanyahu ahead of decision whether to charge the PM

"All my life I heard that the toughest of all deals - and everyone loves deals - would be peace between Israel and the Palestinians," Trump said. "They say it’s the impossible deal, I’d love to be able to produce it."

Netanyahu corruption scandals

Speaking about the plan, Trump mentioned the military aid Israel is receiving from the United States and the U.S. aid cut to the Palestinians. "We were paying the Palestinians a lot of money and we ended that a couple of years ago because they weren't saying the right things. And they've been much better. We have a great shot at peace."

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit is expected to announce Thursday his decision on whether to charge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, subject to a hearing, in the three criminal investigations pending against him.

In Case 4000, in which Netanyahu is suspected of providing regulatory concessions to Shaul Elovitch, the controlling shareholder of Bezeq telecommunications, in exchange for favorable coverage from Bezeq’s news website, Walla, Mendelblit is expected to announce an indictment for bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

In Case 1000, in which the prime minister is alleged to have accepted gifts from wealthy business figures in violation of the law, the PM is expected to be charged with fraud and breach of trust.

Charges are also expected to be filed in Case 2000, which centers on negotiations between the prime minister and Arnon Mozes, the publisher of the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, allegedly involving limiting the circulation of the rival Yisrael Hayom daily in exchange for favorable coverage for the prime minister. It is not yet clear what charges Mendelblit will file against the prime minister for that case. Mendelblit is also expected to announce plans to charge Mozes in that case.