Trump to host Netanyahu at White House on March 5

Trump to host Netanyahu at White House on March 5
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit President TrumpDonald John TrumpScarborough mocks 'Deflection Don' over transgender troop ban Pelosi condemns Trump's 'cowardly, disgusting' ban on transgender troops Trump moves to ban most transgender people from serving in military MORE at the White House on March 5, a White House official told The Hill. 

"The president has a great relationship with the prime minister and looks forward to meeting with him," the White House official said in an email. 

News of the visit comes as Netanyahu faces controversy at home and days after a rare split between Israel and the Trump administration.


The White House publicly denied a claim by the prime minister that he had discussed the annexation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank with administration officials. And in an interview Sunday, Trump said both Israel and Palestine were hindering efforts to broker a peace deal.

Netanyahu, though, faces a larger firestorm at home. In Israel, police have recommended that prosecutors indict him on bribery and corruption charges. 

Israeli police recommended on Tuesday that Netanyahu face charges of bribery and corruption for his alleged role in two controversies — one, in which he and is accused of taking lavish gifts in exchange for political favors, and another regarding alleged efforts to influence media coverage of his government.

White House officials have insisted that Netanyahu's legal troubles will not deter the Trump administration from rolling out a plan for peace in the Middle East, according to The New York Times.

Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump rattles White House with Bolton shake-up Kellyanne Conway on White House departures: 'Get with the program or get out' Petraeus: Watch how Pompeo tackles lagging State Department appointments MORE said this week that the White House has been working for months on a plan for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, saying the proposal is "fairly well advanced."

But he declined to give a time frame for when that plan could be rolled out. Early on in his presidency, Trump charged his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerJim Carrey paints Kushner as 'self-unmade man' The Daily Show jokes Trump’s new legal counsel is a TV Mueller investigates, Peters quits Fox, White House leaks abound MORE with spearheading the peace effort. The details of the effort have been a closely held secret in the White House.

The meeting between Trump and Netanyahu next month will be their second since Trump announced in December that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move its embassy to the city. 

The move sparked outrage across the Arab and Muslim worlds, and prompted Palestinian leaders to push back on U.S. efforts to broker peace.