WASHINGTON - White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said on Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sometimes discuss their joint legal troubles, at a time when both leaders are fighting back against accusations of corruption.
During an interview with NPR, Kelly was asked if Trump is concerned about the various investigations involving him and his associates. In response, Kelly mentioned Netanyahu's corruption investigations in Israel.
"Certainly the President is, you know, somewhat embarrassed, frankly," Kelly stated. "When world leaders come in, it's kind of like you know Bibi Netanyahu is here and he who's under investigation himself and it's like, you know, you walk in and you know the first couple of minutes of every conversation might revolve around that kind of thing."
Kelly, however, expressed his faith in Trump's innocence and hinted that the Russia investigation should soon end, explaining that "something that has gone on this long without any real meat on the bone, it suggests to me that there is nothing there, relative to our President."
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Meanwhile, U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russia's election meddling, Trump's ties to Russia and others to determine whether Trump obstructed the inquiry itself is just one of Trump's current legal troubles.
Michael Cohen, the president's personal lawyer, arranged a $130,000 payment for adult film actress, Stormy Daniels, who went public with her alleged sexual relationship with Trump, as part of a nondisclosure agreement before the 2016 U.S. election. Trump has denied knowing about the arrangement between Cohen and Daniels.
A series of allegations hit Trump's Israeli counterpart, Netanyahu, in mid-February, with the Israel Police recommending that the prime minister be indicted for corruption. The four major police investigations threaten Netanyahu at an unprecedented scale.
The Israel Police has recommended that Netanyahu be indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two cases, known as Case 1000 and 2000. A third case, Case 3000, involved suspected corruption in Israel's purchase of submarines and other naval vessels from Germany.
The fourth case, Case 4000, involved favorable coverage of Netanyahu and his family on an Israeli news site in exchange for the premier's intervention with regulators to help the company that owns the news site.