Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace said the White House was “flabbergasted” when it learned House Speaker John Boehner had invited Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress.
Wallace told fellow Fox host Shepard Smith Friday that White House officials claimed they got “no advance warning” of this address before Congress. Wallace added that he is “shocked” that Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Ron Durmer, never mentioned or hinted of Netanyahu’s March trip during a two hour meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry.
“I found a quote today…this is from Martin Indyk, who’s a former Ambassador to Israel from the United States,” Smith told Wallace:
“Look at what he said: ‘Netanyahu is using the Republican Congress for a photo-op for his election campaign and the Republicans are using Bibi for their campaign against Obama…unfortunately, the U.S. relationship will take the hit. It would be far wiser for us to stay out of their politics and for them to stay out of ours.'”
“I think he’s 100 percent right,” Wallace told Smith. “To give you a sense, I happened to be the White House on wednesday when Boehner announced he invited and Netanyahu accepted this, and a top White House official was flabbergasted. Said ‘we got no advance warning. We found out about it,’ them in the White House, ‘when Boehner announced it to the press.'”
“To make you get a sense of really how, forgive me, wicked this whole thing is. Secretary of State John Kerry met with the Israeli Ambassador to the United States for two hours on Tuesday, and Ron Dermer, the ambassador, according to the State Department, never mentioned the fact that Netanyahu was in negotiations,” Wallace continued, “and finally agreed, to come to Washington, not to see the president but to go to Capitol Hill, speak to a joint session of Congress and criticize the president’s policies.”
“I have to say, I’m shocked,” Wallace added.