Dermer: Obama ‘Handcuffing’ Incoming Trump Administration
President Barack Obama is undermining and ‘handcuffing’ the incoming Trump Administration by changing longstanding U.S. policy on Israel before he leaves office, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer said on Monday.
“The real story is how an outgoing President would fundamentally change U.S policy towards Israel in the waning days of the Administration,” Dermer told MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson, defending President-elect Donald Trump’s intervention at the behest of Israel. “Imagine if President (George W.) Bush on the way out of the door, a month before he leaves office, decides to move the [U.S.] Embassy to Jerusalem, to recognize Israel’s annexation of the settlement blocs, would then everybody be saying, ‘Well, we only have one president at a time’? Of course not. They would say, ‘Look, you’re undermining and handcuffing the next Administration.'”
“This was an attempt to handcuff a new Administration and prevent us from advancing peace,” Dermer asserted.
Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes denied Friday that President Obama was working behind the scenes to bring forward the UNSC resolution for a vote. “This was not a U.S. resolution. We did not draft it. We did not put it forward,” Rhodes said. “We did not have any role in bringing it forward. But when we assessed the resolution, this is consistent with U.S. policy… After January 20th, [Trump] will be responsible for the conduct of American policy. Until January 20th, President Obama is. That’s how it works. There’s one president at a time.”
But Dermer was not impressed by Rhodes’ comments.
“Ben Rhodes is an expert at fiction,” Dermer said, alluding to his role in creating an “echo chamber” to advocate for the Iran nuclear deal last year. “Let’s just wait until all of the evidence is presented to the new Administration and they will decide.”
“When the Prime Minister of Israel makes such an allegation, that is backed up by one hundred percent evidence. You can take that to the bank.”
Earlier Monday, Dermer insisted there is “clear evidence” that the Obama Administration was behind the UN action against Israel. “What is outrageous is that the U.S. was actually behind that gang up,” the Israeli Ambassador said on CNN’s “New Day” morning program. “I think it was a very sad day and really a shameful chapter in the U.S.-Israel relations… We will present this evidence to the new administration through the appropriate channels. If they want to share it with the American people, they are welcome to do it.”