Democrats attacked the Trump administration over a video that was posted by the U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia, which included details about U.S. President Donald Trump’s planned trip to the Middle East, but omitted any reference to Israel.
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Trump is scheduled to land in Israel on May 22 after visiting Saudi Arabia in his first foreign trip as president of the U.S. The embassy’s video, which was posted over the weekend, was deleted after a Democratic member of Congress wrote a letter about it to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
"I am appalled that the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia disingenuously posted this incomplete and misleading video," Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel wrote to Tillerson. "At a time when the United States should be encouraging the governments of the region – and their people – to promote tolerance, respect, and mutual recognition this video implies that the U.S. accepts Saudi Arabia’s public rejectionist position toward Israel."
Engel, who is a senior member of the House of Representatives' Foreign Relations Committee, added that the video "has no place in any social media – or any other form of communication – associated with the United States government." The congressman called on Tillerson to "immediately instruct the embassy to replace the video with the unedited version that includes the announcement of the president’s planned visit to Israel."
The National Jewish Democratic Coalition wrote it was "shocking to learn" about the video and said that although it was deleted, "damage has already been done." The coalition urged the Trump administration to explain how the omission could have happened and what it plans on doing to prevent similar incidents from taking place in the future.