“I. Never. Mentioned. The Word. ‘Israel,’” said President Donald Trump, drawing out the syllables, performing hard eye contact with the dozens of cameras, as Israel’s prime minister stood by in a brief press conference in Jerusalem on Monday.
Trump spoke in that “make no mistake” way, with notes of the old tune, “I did not have sexual intercourse with that woman.” If cameras can cringe, these seemed to. Then Benjamin Netanyahu’s stony face hit a new level of stoniness; he drew close to his body the open arms with which he had promised to welcome Trump one day earlier. In an Internet minute, video of Trump’s claim ricocheted around Twitter.
Because, of course, in mentioning that he didn’t mention Israel, Trump mentioned Israel, seeming to confirm that the state secrets he had blabbed to the Russian ambassador like a tween with Ryan Gosling gossip did not just seem to point to Israel, but belonged to Israel.