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After bitter Iran row, Netanyahu gets White House invite

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to visit the White House in early November, a US spokesman said Friday, the first time he’s been invited since a fierce row over the Iranian nuclear deal.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said there was an “ongoing effort” to find an exact date for the meeting, but that it would be a chance to deepen cooperation.

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“Despite our well known differences on even some key issues, the bond between the United States and Israel when it comes to our security relationship is unshakable,” he said.

US-Israeli relations are at one of their lowest points in decades, fueled by animosity between Obama and Netanyahu.

After years of frosty relations, Netanyahu stridently opposed a deal championed by Obama as the best way of preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

The Israeli prime minister described the accord, an important piece of Obama’s foreign policy legacy, as a “stunning, historic mistake.”

The White House regarded Netanyahu’s appearance before a joint session of Congress in April to call directly on US lawmakers to scupper the deal, as an affront.

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Obama pointedly refused to meet Netanyahu when he was in Washington to make the address.

The two men clashed again during Netanyahu’s re-election campaign, when he rejected a two-state solution.

In the midst of a bitter and sometimes personal dispute, Netanyahu insisted his opposition is “not about me and it is not about President Obama, it’s about the deal.”

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But with the deal now safely through Congress, Obama appears ready to smooth over relations.

Netanyahu is also under pressure to mend ties with Israel’s chief security guarantor and closest ally.

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President Reuven Rivlin accused Netanyahu this week of missing several chances to repair ties with Washington.

Rivlin said he and the prime minister “exhausted the subject of differences of opinion” on relations with the outside world and were now meeting less frequently.

The White House has floated the idea of a deeper security compact with Israel, but has said the offer has not yet been taken up.

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“The president has indicated on a number of occasions his desire to begin consultations with our Israeli allies about how to further deepen that cooperation,” Earnest said.

“We’re looking forward to doing that.”


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Ukraine begged Trump to raise issue of their captive sailors with Putin — he didn’t and Russia state TV gloated

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The ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump is being painted by Congress and the press against the backdrop of the ongoing war between Russia and the Ukraine.

As more and more sworn deposition transcripts are released, researchers are able to link up the testimony of events with real-time reactions, giving us a remarkable insight into the implications of foreign policy decisions.

Investigative journalist Julia Davis flagged one key part of testimony in the transcript released of the deposition by Ukraine embassy political officer David Holmes.

The transcript reveals Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the former federal prosecutor who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, interviewing Holmes about Ukraine's desperation to set up a meeting with Trump.

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‘Something nefarious going on’: Obama deputy chief of staff doesn’t buy White House claims on Trump’s health

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The deputy chief of staff for operations in the Obama administration broke down on Monday why the White House claims on President Donald Trump's surprise Saturday visit to Walter Reed Hospital.

Jim Messina, who also was the campaign manager for Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, was interviewed Monday on MSNBC's "The Last Word" by anchor Lawrence O'Donnell.

O'Donnell noted the note the White House physician sent to White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham:

[caption id="attachment_1563602" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Memorandum from Dr. Sean Conley to Stephanie Grisham.[/caption]

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Trump doctor denies the president underwent any ‘neurologic evaluations’ at Walter Reed Hospital

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The physician to the president claimed that President Donald Trump did not undergo "neurologic" evaluations during a surprise visit to Walter Reed Hospital.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham released a picture of a memorandum from Dr. Sean Conley, which was printed on "Office of the Press Secretary" letterhead.

The memo was sent to Grisham.

On Saturday, Grisham had claimed the purpose of the visit was to conduct a "partial" physical. Dr. Conley referred to the visit as an "interim check up."

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