Sorry for the delay. We had to take a walk through the streets of Jerusalem to get to Netanyahu's residence, where Trump will be joining the PM for dinner later this evening. We are currently holding outside a security checkpoint waiting to get in.
Here's the info on the non-Russia-meeting-related words exchanged at the Trump-Netanyahu bilat.
Please note Trump's harsh comments and blame he lays on the Iran Deal and the actions of his predecessor, in the bottom of his comments.
The two leaders entered the Bilat Room at the King David Hotel at 6:04 p.m. It's not this room's first rodeo -- three Israeli flags, and two American flags were on display in front of a curtain and behind two hard-backed chairs, a bouquet of flowers on a table between them. An oriental rug covered the floor.
Netanyahu kicked things off: "Mr. President, it's a pleasure to see you again. I know you went to the Western Wall and touched stones of our existence. You're the first acting American president to do that. I have to express our appreciation, not only for that but also for your friendship for the state of Israel, your understanding of our story, our struggle, our desire for peace. All of these things I want to talk to you about. Including Iran, including Syria, including the Palestinians, including the wonderful partnership between our two countries. And anything else you care to talk about."
Then it was Trump's turn. "It's just been an honor to be here. The Western Wall, was just incredible being there.
As you know I've been a big supporter of Israel for a long time, I've been a big supporter of yours… it's just a magnificent place, magnificent people, many friends, my great friends come from Israel. It's a great honor to be here.
He said he was just told that he is the first sitting president to visit the Wall. "I was just told that — that to me is a great honor.
"Ideally, we're going to work on a couple of things, I will say I just left Saudi Arabia, the king, we had an amazing two days. Their
feeling toward Israel is really very positive. tremendous progress was made. a lot of that progress has been made bc of the aggression of Iran, it's forcing people together in a very positive way. If you look at King Salmon and others, that I was with…the summit was very historic what took place over the last two days. I could see a much deeper path to friendship with Israel and i think a lot of it spurred on -- whatever it takes -- but a lot of it's spurred on by what's happening in Iran."
Netanyahu talked some more, smiling the whole time, and heaping on the praise. "The fact that you've taken a very strong position on
Iran not only helps security but also …" he said it also will help reconciliation between israel and the Palestinians." He said those discussions are " pregnant with possibilities."
Trump talked some more, this time taking aim at his predecessor's actions on Iran and blaming him for the current situation. "Iran should be very grateful to the United States. Iran negotiated a fantastic deal with the previous administration..it is unbelievable from my standpoint. some people don't understand …instead of being thankful, and saying thank you -- because the were in serious trouble
"I think they would have totally failed within six months, we gave them a lifeline and we not only gave them a lifeline, we gave them wealth and prosperity. And we also gave them an ability to continue with terror….no matter where we go we see the signs of Iran in the Middle East.
"No matter where we go — Syria, where we were forcing to shoot the 59 missiles. No matter what area we're in — Yemen, Iraq, no matter where we are we see the signs..whether it's soldiers, whether it's money and guns...
"Instead of saying thank you to the United States, they now feel emboldened.… it was a terrible, terrible thing for the United States to enter that deal. and believe me, Iran will never have a nuclear weapon that I can tell you."
They ended with a handshake, and Bloomberg's Margaret Talev called out a question about the intel shared with the Russians in the Oval, asking Netanyahu if he was concerned. Wranglers were trying to move the press out of the room, but both Bibi and Trump were eager to answer.
Carol already sent what happened from there...