Israeli PM meets candidates on eve of presidential debate
NEW YORK — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, giving each candidate fresh bragging rights about their knowledge of foreign policy and readiness to lead the nation on the eve of their first presidential debate.
Trump and Netanyahu discussed Israel’s use of a fence to help secure its borders, an example Trump cites when he’s talking about the wall he wants to build between the U.S. and Mexico.
“He agreed with Prime Minister Netanyahu that the Israeli people want a just and lasting peace with their neighbors, but that peace will only come when the Palestinians renounce hatred and violence and accept Israel as a Jewish State,” the Trump campaign said.
Clinton also met Netanyahu in New York. Clinton said a “strong and secure Israel” is vital to the United States. Her campaign said afterward that she “reaffirmed her unwavering commitment” to the U.S.-Israel relationship.
Reporters were barred from the meetings, which were designed to put Israel on good footing with the next U.S. president. Netanyahu
Clinton, a former senator and secretary of state, often says that Trump does not know enough about the world and lacks the temperament to be president.
Trump has argued that he has extensive experience with foreign policy through his career as a business executive and blames Clinton for many of the nation’s stumbles in foreign policy.
Meanwhile, the candidates deployed top supporters to Sunday talk shows to lower debate expectations for a showdown expected to draw 75 million viewers.
Facts and who will determine them during the debate seemed to be a top concern of the campaigns’ strategists given Trump’s habit of saying things that are untrue and the public’s general distrust of Clinton.
Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, called on moderator Lester Holt to correct any inaccuracies made by the candidates.
But Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said it’s not the job of debate moderators to fact check.
Also Sunday, Mike Pence, Trump’s vice presidential running mate, said that Gennifer Flowers will not attend the debate.
Trump had tweeted that if frequent Trump critic Mark Cuban attended the showdown he’d put Flowers, allegedly the former mistress of Clinton’s husband, Bill, in the audience too.
Conway said that Flowers had a right to be there if “somebody else gives her a ticket.”