Is­raeli PM meets can­di­dates on eve of pres­i­den­tial de­bate

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By Lau­rie Kellman and Jill Colvin

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.”

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