The Obama administration isn’t backing down on criticisms of an Israeli plan to build 1600 new homes in East Jerusalem. Israel announced the plan just as Vice President Joe Biden was visiting the country.
President Obama’s chief political adviser condemned the move Sunday. “This was an affront, it was an insult,” David Axelrod told NBC’s Tom Brokaw.
“But most importantly, it undermined this very fragile effort to bring peace to that region,” he said. “We just now have started proximity talks, shuttle diplomacy between the Palestinians and the Israelis. For this announcement to come at that time was very destructive.”
Fox News’ Bill Kristol responded to Axelrod by defending the Israelis. “No one doubts this is part of Israel. This little apartment building is going to be part of Israel. No different from Palestinians building apartment buildings in Ramallah. It’s ludicrous that it became a big issue,” said Kristol.
The story made international headlines Friday as the Middle East Quartet — the European Union, the United States, Russia and the United Nations — condemned “Israel’s decision to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem.”
“The Quartet reaffirms that unilateral actions taken by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community,” it added in a statement.
This video is from NBC’s Meet the Press and Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast March 14, 2010.
Quarantine, racial strife, Trump have Michelle Obama feeling down
Former First Lady Michelle Obama said she is suffering from "low-grade depression" from coronavirus quarantine, racial strife in the United States and the "hypocrisy" of the Trump administration.
Obama made the remarks in the latest episode of "The Michelle Obama Podcast" released on Spotify on Wednesday.
"I'm waking up in the middle of the night because I'm worrying about something or there's a heaviness," the 56-year-old former First Lady said.
"I try to make sure I get a workout in, although there have been periods throughout this quarantine, where I just have felt too low," she said.
Another watchdog at US State Department abruptly gone
The internal watchdog looking into accusations against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo abruptly quit Wednesday, just months after his predecessor was fired.
The State Department's acting inspector general, Stephen Akard, is a longtime aide to Vice President Mike Pence and his installation in May had widely been seen as a way to keep a friendly figure in the role.
Akard informed colleagues that he is "returning to the private sector after years of public service," a State Department spokesperson said.
"We appreciate his dedication to the Department and to our country."
But Akard's departure comes just as his office finalizes a report on Pompeo's controversial decision to bypass Congress to sell $8.1 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies.
Andrea Mitchell knocks Biden for virtual convention speech: ‘How much does that damage the campaign?’
MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell suggested to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Wednesday that presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden could "damage" his campaign by holding a virtual convention speech.
Mitchell made the remark after President Donald Trump said that he was considering holding his convention speech at the White House.
"Joe Biden is not going to Milwaukee," Mitchell told Pelosi. "How much does this damage the campaign?"
Pelosi disagreed by insisting that Democrats will hold a "great convention."
Mitchell then asked about Trump's plan to hold his convention speech at the White House.