May 19, 201710:19
"Just so you understand, I never mentioned the word or the name 'Israel.' Never mentioned that during that conversation. They were all saying I did, so you have another story wrong. Never mentioned the word 'Israel.'"
To put it mildly, that's not what Trump was supposed to say.The controversy was about the American president giving Russians highly sensitive intelligence that he was supposed to keep secret. Whether he also gave Russians the source of the intelligence isn't important. Many of us heard rumors that Israel provided us with the information, but it's a tangential issue.Trump appeared to be effectively saying, alongside Netanyahu, "Sure, I divulged secrets to Russia, but don't worry, I didn't tell them that I received the secrets from Israel."Watching the clip, you can almost hear Netanyahu thinking, "Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up...."We're talking about an important international incident in which the Republican appears to have done real harm, and instead of staying quiet, Trump is now denying an accusation that was not made, and perhaps obliquely confirming details that were unconfirmed -- in the process making a bad situation worse.The president's foreign trip hasn't even reached the half-way point yet. I shudder to think what he might say towards the end of the week.