Trump Was 'Angry' in Bethlehem Meeting, Mahmoud Abbas Reportedly Confirms

After Palestinian officials dismiss reports of tense Abbas-Trump meeting, Palestinian president reportedly tells PLO officials Trump charged Abbas of inciting against Israel

President Donald Trump meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Evan Vucci/AP

Conflicting versions are emerging from officials close to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas regarding his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump last month, which Israeli media reported was unusually tense. 

According to the London-based Al-Araby Al-Jadid newspaper, which cited officials close to the Palestinian leader, Abbas told a recent meeting of PLO officials that the meeting was "uncomfortable," and that Trump was "angry," in stark contrast with their previous interaction in Washington, described as having a "comfortable environment" which was "far from stressful."

During the meeting, Trump accused Abbas of inciting against Israel, Al-Araby said. Trump reportedly showed Abbas a number of videos including one of Abbas saying "We [the Palestinians] incite, and the Israelis incite." This issue came up during their Washington meeting as well.

Abbas blamed the tension on Israeli incitement against Palestinians. He allegedly responded to Trump saying, "You have the CIA intelligence service, ask them to investigate the video clips and see how they were cut and fabricated in order to provoke the Palestinians."

Palestinian officials this week dismissed the reports of tension between Trump and Abbas, which according to Israeli media reports even came to the U.S. president yelling at his Palestinian counterpart, terming them attempts to discredit Abbas and create distance between the White House and Palestinian leadership. 

Officials in Ramallah are convinced that since the meeting in Washington, there has been an Israeli effort in coordination with the U.S. administration to undermine Abbas and find any reason to discredit his trustworthiness, including the creation of videos that allegedly prove that he participates in incitement. "We know about a video made in the prime minister's office and everyone who arrives there or plans to visit Ramallah is exposed to this video," a Palestinian official close to Abbas' bureau said.