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Trump laments Netanyahu failure to form Israel government: ‘It’s too bad’

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Trump laments Netanyahu failure to form Israel government: 'It's too bad'

President Trump said Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s inability to form a government was “too bad,” because the Middle East has “enough turmoil.”

“It looked like a total win for Netanyahu, who’s a great guy, he’s a great guy,” Trump told reporters on the White House lawn Thursday morning before heading to Colorado to deliver the commencement speech at the Air Force Academy.

“And now they’re [Israel’s] back in the debate state and they’re back in the election stage,” Trump said. “That is too bad. Because they don’t need this. I mean they’ve got enough turmoil over there, it’s a tough place.”

FILE - In this March 25, 2019 file photo, President Donald Trump smiles at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, after signing a proclamation at the White House in Washington. 

FILE – In this March 25, 2019 file photo, President Donald Trump smiles at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, after signing a proclamation at the White House in Washington. 
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Netanyahu missed a midnight Wednesday deadline to form a coalition government made up of his conservative Likud party and allied religious and nationalist parties after negotiations fell apart over military draft exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jewish men. In response, the 120-member Israeli parliament, the Knesset, voted to dissolve, teeing up a new election for Sept. 17.

The dramatic political events took place hours before Trump’s son-in-law and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner visited Jerusalem to promote the administration’s Middle East peace plan, which could be losing steam as Israel heads toward an unprecedented second election in a calendar year.

NETANYAHU SHOWS OFF TRUMP’S MAP OF ISRAEL WITH GOLAN HEIGHTS

Netanyahu said Thursday that Kushner gifted him an official State Department map, which was updated to incorporate the long-disputed Golan Heights as part of Israel.

In a bid to play down the political chaos and focus public attention on his foreign policy prowess – in particular, his close friendship with Trump – during a news conference in Jerusalem on Thursday Netanyahu whipped out Kushner’s map, on which the president had scribbled, “Nice.”

The White House upended decades of official U.S. policy in March when it recognized Israeli sovereignty over the territory, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967 and later annexed.

KUSHNER-TRUMP MIDDLE EAST PEACE DEAL COULD BE IN TROUBLE AFTER NETANYAHU IS FORCED TO CALL FRESH ELECTION

The September election means there are now no guarantees that Netanyahu’s Trump-friendly government will stay in power past the summer and any progress made with Kushner is at risk of being revoked by a new Israeli administration.

On Monday, as Netanyahu tried to put a coalition together, Trump tweeted that he hoped the Israeli leader could form a government in order to further strengthen ties between the countries.

“Hoping things will work out with Israel’s coalition formation and Bibi and I can continue to make the alliance between America and Israel stronger than ever. A lot more to do!” Trump wrote.

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The meeting between Netanyahu, Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s envoy for international negotiations, was scheduled ahead of a conference scheduled in Bahrain for next month that is designed to highlight the economic benefits of a potential Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Palestinians officials have cut off contact with the Trump administration, rejected peace plan sight unseen and have urged Arab nations to boycott the Bahrain conference. Despite the boycott push, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have signaled they intend to participate.

Fox News’ Barnini Chakraborty and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Pelosi flexes muscle over party in impeachment debate, but ‘dam’ could collapse

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Pelosi flexes muscle over party in impeachment debate, but ‘dam’ could collapse

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has wielded her power to quash a faction of Democrats rallying for President Trump’s impeachment, but frustrated members within the party say the president is one misstep away from “that dam collapsing,” according to a Sunday report.

Since reassuming leadership over the house, Pelosi has thwarted her party’s liberal wing from going forward with impeachment proceedings, encouraging them to instead focus on other issues like health care.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reflects on President Donald Trump's statement that he would accept assistance from a foreign power. 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reflects on President Donald Trump’s statement that he would accept assistance from a foreign power. 
(AP)

“I don’t think there’s anything more divisive we can do than to impeach a president of the United States, and so you have to handle it with great care,” Pelosi told CNN on Sunday. “It has to be about the truth and the facts to take you to whatever decision has to be there.”

Some lawmakers say their deference to Pelosi is out of respect for the speaker’s political expertise, and agree that impeachment would do more harm than good.

NANCY PELOSI TOLD DEMS SHE WANTS TO SEE TRUMP ‘IN PRISON’: REPORT

“She is the single smartest strategist that we’ve ever had…People are not wanting to second guess her because she’s been right on so many fronts,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., told the Washington Post.

But other Democratic lawmakers, like Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., admit they toe the party line out of fear.

“One, you want to be a team player and support the leader’s position, but secondly you’re worried about your own self and…what can happen if you don’t follow along,” Schrader told the paper.

Some argue that President Trump’s defiance of congressional investigators will eventually break the divide between moderate Democrats and its liberal wing.

TRUMP APPEARS TO HAVE INADVERTENTLY INFUSED DEMOCRATIC INVESTIGATIONS AFTER ABC INTERVIEW

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va., described Pelosi’s hold over Democrats as “fragile” because “we’re kind of one event, one piece of explosive testimony, one action by Trump away from that dam collapsing.”

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The Democrats’ pro-impeachment camp howled this week after Trump said in an interview with ABC that he’d be willing to listen if a foreign government had dirt on an opponent. Yet despite the familiar refrain of impeachment, Pelosi didn’t budge an inch on impeachment after Trump’s comments.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

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Trump asks Mulvaney to leave Oval Office for coughing during ABC interview

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Trump asks Mulvaney to leave Oval Office for coughing during ABC interview

President Trump was apparently so perturbed by his chief of staff coughing during an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in the Oval Office last week, that he asked his staffer to leave the room, according to a transcript from the station.

Trump had been asked a question about his tax returns when someone off camera – identified as Mulvaney – reportedly begins coughing.

“I hope they get it, because it’s a fantastic financial statement,” Trump said Stephanopoulos amid apparent coughing before saying: “And let’s do that over, he’s coughing in the middle of my answer.”

TRUMP SAYS HE WOULD ‘WANT TO HEAR’ DIRT ON 2020 RIVALS FROM FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS, SUGGESTS HE WOULDN’T CONTACT FBI

“I don’t like that, you know, I don’t like that,” Trump reportedly said of Mulvaney’s coughing. “If you’re going to couch, please leave the room. You just can’t, you just can’t cough. Boy oh boy.”

“Your chief of staff,” Stephanopoulos reportedly clarified.

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The interview, which was broadcast Sunday, proceeded with Trump saying although he wanted people to see his “phenomenal” financial statement, it’s “not up to me, it’s up to my lawyers.”

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Buttigieg says he won’t be first gay president, ‘almost certain’ we’ve had others

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Buttigieg says he won't be first gay president, 'almost certain' we've had others

Mayor Pete Buttigieg doesn’t believe he’ll be the first gay president if elected in 2020.

“I would imagine we’ve probably had excellent presidents who were gay — we just didn’t know which ones,” he told “Axios on HBO.”

“I mean, statistically, it’s almost certain.”

FILE: Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at a grassroots event on Friday, June 14, 2019, in Alexandria, Va.

FILE: Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at a grassroots event on Friday, June 14, 2019, in Alexandria, Va.
(AP)

Asked if he possibly knew which commander-in-chief was playing for the other team, the Democratic hopeful said: “My gaydar even doesn’t work that well in the present, let alone retroactively. But one can only assume that’s the case.”

BUTTIGIEG SAYS TRUMP USING JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AS ‘HIS OWN PERSONAL LAW FIRM’

Buttigieg — who is mayor of South Bend, Ind. — has been rising in the polls as of late. He would be the first openly gay presidential candidate, if nominated next next year.

The 37-year-old has been asked in the past about the possibility of there ever being a gay president, with BuzzFeed posing the question back in March.

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“My gaydar is not great to begin with and definitely doesn’t work over long stretches of time,” he repeated. “I think we’ll just have to let the historians figure that out.”

To read more from The New York Post, click here

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