Trump to Open Tuesday in 'Palestine,' White House Says

The United States doesn't officially recognize a Palestinian state, and usually refers in official documents only to the 'Palestinian Authority'

U.S. President Donald Trump in Jerusalem, May 22, 2017.
NOAM MOSKOVITZ/REUTERS

An official schedule of U.S. President Donald Trump's plans for Tuesday that was distributed by the White House referred to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whom Trump will meet first thing Tuesday morning, as the leader of "Palestine."

The United States doesn't officially recognize a Palestinian state, and usually refers in official documents only to the "Palestinian Authority."

According to the schedule, which was sent on Monday night to the entire press corps covering the president's trip to Israel, Trump will begin the second day of his visit by participating in "an arrival ceremony with President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine."

The ceremony is set to take place at the Presidential Palace in Bethlehem, where Trump and Abbas will then hold a meeting for less than an hour. Trump will then head back to Jerusalem to lay a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

Last week, Trump's social media director Dan Scavino was criticized by right-wing supporters of Israel for uploading a post on his Facebook page that included "Palestine" among all the stops on Trump's international trip. Scavino later edited the post to read "the Palestinian Authority."

Earlier on Monday, the White House's website included a reference to Jerusalem as part of Israel, writing that Trump's meeting with Netanyahu took place in "Jerusalem, Israel." Official U.S. policy over the years has been to refer to the city separately from the rest of Israel.