Trump to Meet Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, Reinforcing Close Ties

WASHINGTON — President Trump will welcome Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to the White House on Monday morning, reinforcing the close relationship between two allies and underscoring the political and legal ups and downs that each have faced.

Mr. Trump will be fresh off news that a lengthy investigation of his presidential campaign’s possible ties to Russia did not find evidence of a conspiracy, while Mr. Netanyahu still faces indictment on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. He is in an intense fight for his political survival in elections next month.

Early on Monday, after a rocket launched from Gaza struck a house in central Israel, injuring seven people, Mr. Netanyahu announced he would cut short his visit to Washington, leaving for Israel immediately after meeting Mr. Trump in the Oval Office.

Mr. Netanyahu had been scheduled to have dinner with the president on Tuesday and to address a conference organized by a pro-Israeli lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac. Those events have been canceled.

The two-day visit was meant to showcase Mr. Netanyahu’s influence in Mr. Trump’s Washington at a critical moment in Israeli politics, when the prime minister’s legal woes are proliferating and he faces a fierce election challenge from Benny Gantz, a retired military chief.

Last week, Mr. Trump declared that the United States should recognize Israel’s control over the long-disputed Golan Heights, a statement starkly at odds with international law and a reversal of decades of American policy, but a major election-eve gift to Mr. Netanyahu.

But the prime minister was hit by two new accusations shortly before his departure for Washington: that he improperly authorized the sale of German-made submarines to Egypt without the approval of top military officials; and that he engaged in self-dealing, through an undisclosed stake in a company that supplied the German builder of both the Egyptian subs and several new Israeli warships.

Mr. Trump, on the other hand, was very likely to exult in the letter to congressional leaders on Sunday from Attorney General William P. Barr, in which he reported that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, had not found collusion between Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 election.

The president erroneously described the letter as a “complete and total exoneration,” since Mr. Barr noted that on the question of whether Mr. Trump had obstructed justice, Mr. Mueller neither found the president had committed a crime nor exonerated him of one.

Mr. Barr made that decision for Mr. Mueller, concluding that the evidence against the president did not rise to obstruction of justice.

Mr. Netanyahu’s meeting with Mr. Trump could still eclipse a major speech to Aipac by his opponent, Mr. Gantz, which is scheduled for roughly the same time as the Oval Office session. But the prime minister will lose the opportunity to address the group’s audience.

“In light of the security events I decided to cut short my visit to the U.S.,” Mr. Netanyahu said after the rocket attack.

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