An Israeli consulate spokesman has denied former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's claim that Israel's leaders favor Republican candidate Donald Trump in his presidential race over the Democrats' Hillary Clinton, the BuzzFeed News website reported Thursday.
- Giuliani: Israeli officials prefer a Trump victory in November
- Ex-N.Y. mayor Giuliani on U.S. aid to Israel: 'Any president better than Obama'
Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin reported on Wednesday that Giuliani told him: “I’ve talked to the members of the Israeli government at the highest levels. I know who they want elected here. It’s not Hillary Clinton."
In response to the column, BuzzFeed sought comment from the Israeli consulate in New York. “We hold Mayor Giuliani in the highest regard but the government of Israel does not speak on behalf of any American politician and no American politician speaks on behalf of the Israeli government,” Shimon Mercer-Wood, the spokesperson and consul for media affairs at the Israeli Consulate General in New York told BuzzFeed News.
The Post column also cited comments from a Giuliani associate who claimed the former New York mayor carried a message from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for Trump when he returned from Israel in March. Giuliani subsequently declined to confirm or deny this to the Post. The initial Washington Post column also contained a denial from the Prime Minister’s Office that Netanyahu had voiced any preferences in the U.S. election -- or had asked Giuliani to convey any messages to Trump.
BuzzFeed also quoted an unnamed Israeli government source as saying that Israeli officials “resent any attempt" to make Israel "a partisan issue” or “to claim a relationship" with either the Democratic or Republican Party.