(JTA) — President Donald Trump does not believe reports that Israel is spaying on the United States, he said.
Trump’s remark Thursday was about a report that Israel was likely behind the placement of devices in the vicinity of the White House that can capture cellphone calls.
“I don’t believe that. No, I don’t believe that the Israelis are spying on us,” Trump said on Thursday evening from the South Lawn, before heading to a GOP retreat in Baltimore, Fox News reported. “I find that hard to believe,” he added.
Politico in an article published online Thursday cited three unnamed former senior officials with “knowledge of the matter.”
Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, vigorously denied the report. Israel has pledged since the 1986 capture of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard not to spy on the United States, although since then there have been multiple instances of the countries accusing the other of spying, however.
Amos Yadlin, the former head of the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate, reportedly called it “fake news spiced with anti-Semitism,” stating that Israel bans spying on the U.S.
Trump: I Don’t Believe Israel Spies On United States