US National Security Advisor John Bolton will travel to Israel at the weekend for “regional security talks” with top Russian and Israeli officials, the White House said Thursday amid spiking tensions with Iran.
Bolton will meet Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, followed by talks with his Israeli and Russian counterparts, Meir Ben-Shabbat and Nikolai Patrushev, NSC spokesman Garrett Marquis said.
Bolton also will meet with the director general of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission Zeev Snir.
The NSC announcement came just hours after Iran shot down a US drone in what Washington called an unprovoked attack.
Tehran said the drone, a high-flying Global Hawk, was brought down with a surface-to-air missile after it entered its airspace. The US military said the drone was in international airspace.
“Iran made a very big mistake!” US President Donald Trump tweeted.
It was the latest of a series of incidents in and around the strategic Strait of Hormuz that have sent regional tensions soaring.
The United States has accused Iran of attacks on shipping in the area, including suspected mine explosions on two tankers last week.
Adding to the uncertainty is Iran’s threat to stop observing some restrictions on its nuclear program in retaliation for the United States’ unilateral withdrawal last year from a 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers.
Trump claims not to ‘know’ Gordon Sondland very well — but the evidence suggests otherwise
President Donald Trump attempted to distance himself Wednesday from his hand-selected European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland. At the same time, Trump claimed that Sondland’s stunning testimony, which alleged that the president had ordered a “quid pro quo” with Ukraine, in fact, vindicated him.
“Was there a ‘quid pro quo’?” Sondland said in his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday. "The answer is ‘yes.’”
Sondland further claimed that “everyone was in the loop” and all actions were “directed” by the president.
Seth Meyers can’t stop laughing at Devin Nunes: ‘It’s like murdering someone and calling their ghost to testify’
"Late Night" comedian Seth Meyers summed up the day of hearings by saying it was devastating to President Donald Trump. If you don't believe him, he showed the humiliating clip of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) who looked dejected.
"Wow, look at his face!" Meyers said. "He looks like he just walked in on his parents having sex -- with someone else's parents. There's only two explanations for that face, either he just heard lengthy testimony detailing a criminal scheme so shocking to bring down the presidency of Donald Trump. Or he sharted, and he's trying to remember how far away his back-up pants are."
The Republicans’ impeachment lawyer made 2 huge mistakes in questioning Gordon Sondland
Ambassador Gordon Sondland delivered complex and convoluted impeachment testimony on Wednesday about his involvement in President Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal. He gave detailed evidence recounting the president and the rest of the administration’s involvement in his effort to get Ukraine to launch investigations of Trump’s political opponents — including by leveraging a potential White House meeting and a hold on military aid.
But he also, to the Republicans’ delight, left some ambiguity about how much Trump had been involved in the effort to leverage the aid, saying that he had “presumed” Ukraine’s announcement of the investigations would release the hold. And he noted that, in one phone call the president — as the scheme was slowly being uncovered — Trump angrily denied there was a quid pro quo.