Clarification Dept.

Pompeo responds to leaked recording

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, April 2019

On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted that he did not suggest that the Trump peace plan could be perceived as being one-sided in favor of Israel. Pompeo’s clarification came after the Washington Post reported on closed-door remarks the Secretary of State delivered last week to Jewish leaders at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in New York.

Pompeo was quoted as saying, “I can get why people think this is going to be a plan that only the Israelis could love. I understand the perception of that.”

According to the report, Pompeo said “one might argue” that the peace plan is “unexecutable” and it might not “gain traction. It may be rejected.”

In an interview with Sinclair TV while in Switzerland on Monday, Pompeo explained that he was just “articulating” that the perception that the plan will be one-sided because of the administration’s pro-Israel policies is “inaccurate” and “fundamentally untrue.”

“We have a deep, long relationship with Israel, an important relationship with Israel, and the president has made very clear that that’s important to this administration to have that important political, economic, and security relationship with Israel,” Pompeo explained. “And we’ve struggled more with respect to the Palestinians… So I can see how someone might be concerned that a plan that this administration put forward might, without knowing the true facts of what is contained in the plan, they might perceive that it was going to be fundamentally one-sided. And I was articulating that there because it’s just simply not true.”

On Sunday, President Trump appeared to agree with the secretary of state when asked about Pompeo’s skepticism of the peace plan. “He may be right,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn before departing for a trip to the U.K.

Pompeo told Sinclair TV’s James Rosen that he hasn’t spoken yet to Trump about the recording.

Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered each morning in a must-read newsletter.