President Donald Trump hosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on January 28, 2020. This is the full text of their two sets of public remarks.
Initially, they spoke in the Rose Garden:
Q Mr. President, what’s your response to the Bolton manuscript? And does this increase the chances he could be called to testify?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I haven’t seen a manuscript, but I can tell you: Nothing was ever said to John Bolton. But I have not seen a manuscript. I guess he’s writing a book. I have not seen it.
Q Well, you know what the allegation is.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’ll talk inside.
Q Do you expect Prime Minister Netanyahu to implement the plan right away in the coming six weeks?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I think he’s here for a reason. And, hopefully, that it will be “yes.” And peace in the Middle East has been long sought for many, many, many years and decades and centuries. And this is an opportunity; we’ll see what happens. Whatever it is, it is. But he’s here for a reason.
Q Would you give a green light for annexation of the Jordan Valley within the coming months?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’re going to see. We’re going to announce tomorrow at 12 o’clock. We’re going to show a plan that’s been worked on by everybody, and we’ll see whether or not it catches hold. If it does, that’d be great. And if doesn’t, we can live with it, too. But I think it might have a chance.
Q Do you expect Benny Gantz to agree to the plan?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Do I expect what?
Q Benny Gantz.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: He’s coming here today. He’ll be here also. And, as you know, they are two good competitors. They’re fighting it out.
I’ve been waiting now — this is my third election. We keep waiting, and waiting, and waiting. So, let’s go. What kind of a system is that? That’s a very strange system you have over there. Wouldn’t you say that?
Because we have been. We’ve been waiting — we’ve been talking about this for many months and we keep waiting for the election. So that system has to be looked at.
Q But what about the allegations that this is an interference with internal politics in Israel? The fact that —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I think what’s happening is — one of the reasons that Mr. Gantz is here is for that reason. He’s coming, too. So I’m going to speak to him right after this.
Q What is your message to the residents of Judea and Samaria at this point?
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: May I — may I say something?
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: I think — first of all, I’m very honored to be here with you —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you. It’s my honor.
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: — here today, Mr. President. And I look forward to making history with you tomorrow. And I think we’ll talk about the plan; I’ll talk about the plan — of vision of peace, which is historic — the President has put forward tomorrow.
Today, I just want to say two words: Thank you. Thank you for everything you’ve done for Israel, everything you’ve done for Israel — for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; for moving your embassy there; for recognizing our sovereignty in the Golan Heights; for recognizing our rights in Judea and Samaria, the heartland of our biblical homeland; for the unprecedented security and intelligence cooperation between our two countries.
I think, Mr. President, that the list of your support for Israel, the things you’ve done for Israel since you’ve become President, is very long. But the bottom line is short: You have made our alliance stronger than ever. And I look forward, in the coming years, to make it even stronger with a historic defense treaty that will anchor our alliance for generations.
One last thing — one last thing, which I think is important: This is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. And on this day, I’m proud to stand here, as the Prime Minister of the one and only Jewish State, and thank you for confronting the most anti-Semitic regime on the planet. When you came into office, Iran was on the march. Because of your leadership, Iran is now on the run.
You’ve withdrawn from the dangerous nuclear — the nuclear deal. You slapped on tremendous sanctions. You have — two weeks ago, you’ve taken out the most dangerous terrorist on the planet. All those who seek peace, all those who want to fight terrorism should thank you, Mr. President, for your bold decisions and your bold actions.
And on behalf of the State of Israel, I want to thank you for everything you’ve done for Israel, for confronting Iran, and for your extraordinary decisions, your friendship, and your leadership.
That’s the end of my speech.
Q President Trump, last time, I asked you if you were for a two-state solution. Are you going to say, tomorrow, “two-state and a Palestinian State”?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: You’re going to see very, very quickly. We’re going to release a plan tomorrow at 12 o’clock. You’re going to see for yourself.
Okay. We’ll see you inside.
Soon after, they spoke in the Oval Office:
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much. It’s an honor to have Prime Minister Netanyahu, a great friend of mine and a great friend of our country. We’ve had a tremendous almost three-year relationship. I’ve known you many years before that, but this was three years of primetime, and we’ve done a lot for Israel. And the relationship, I think, has never been better.
We’re going to be discussing Mideast peace. We’re going to be announcing a plan tomorrow at 12 o’clock. And that’s a plan that Bibi and his opponent, I must say, have to like very much. And I can say, in terms of Bibi, he does. And I think in terms of his opponent, he does too. I’ll be meeting with him in a little while.
But this is a plan that’s very important to peace in the Middle East. No matter where I went, they say, “Israel and the Palestinians, they have to make peace before you can really have peace in the Middle East.”
So people have been working on this for many, many years, and I think we’re relatively close, but we have to get other people to agree with it also.
I will say, many of the Arab nations have agreed to it. They like it. They think it’s great. They think it’s a big start. I think it’s a big start too. I think it’s a fantastic thing if we can pull it off. They say it’s probably the most difficult deal anywhere and of any kind to make.
In the business world — when I was back in the business world, when a deal was tough, people would jokingly refer to it as, “This is tougher than Israel and the Palestinians getting together.” And that’s what I’ve heard all my life, and so we’ll see what happens. We have something that makes a lot of sense for everybody.
And we appreciate you being here, Mr. Prime Minister. Great job you do. Thank you. Thank you very much.
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Thank you. Thank you. Mr. President, I just want to say two things: First, that the deal of the century is the opportunity of the century, and we’re not going to pass it by. And we’ll talk about that tomorrow.
Today, I repeat, I just want to say thank you for everything you’ve done for the State of Israel. You’ve been the greatest friend that Israel has had in the White House, and I think tomorrow we can continue making history.
Thank you, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Good. I look forward to it. Thank you very much.
Q Mr. President, did you speak to the Palestinians about your plan to the Palestinian President? Because there are reports that he refused to take your call.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We will be reporting on that tomorrow. It’s something they should want. They probably won’t want it initially, but I think in the end they will. I think in the end, they’re going to want it. It’s very good for them. In fact, it’s overly good to them. So we’ll see what happens. Now, without them, we don’t do the deal and that’s okay. They’re not living well.
As you know, we cut off aid to Palestinians, and something I don’t like to do, but we did that. And we think that there’s a very good chance that they’re going to want this. I would say their initial — just as great negotiators — and they’re great negotiators. Their initial response — and I have no idea what they’re going to say — would be, “Oh, we don’t want anything.” But in the meantime, they’ll be negotiating. So let’s see how it works.
So, tomorrow, at 12 o’clock, we’ll be announcing a plan, and it’s a very big plan. It will be a suggestion between Israel and the Palestinians. It’s the closest it’s ever come, and we’ll see what happens. We have the support of the Prime Minister. We have the support of the other parties. And we think we will ultimately have the support of the Palestinians. But we’re going to see. And if we do, it’ll be a tremendous tribute to everybody. And if we don’t, life goes on.
Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.
Q Mr. President, what about the Bolton allegations ?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: False.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Totally false.