‘He’s totally onboard’: Wolff book describes Trump admin’s collusion with Israel
In the book, titled ‘Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House’, author Michael Wolff describes a conversation between former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and Roger Ailes, the former CEO of Fox News who died in in May 2017.
According to the excerpt published Thursday, Bannon informed Ailes that President Donald Trump, Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, and their billionaire benefactor Sheldon Adelson are in agreement with moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. Adelson is an American casino mogul who donated $25 million to the Trump campaign and funds Israel’s most popular daily newspaper, Israel Today, which is widely understood to be pro-Netanyahu.
The extract also describes what appears to be Trump’s plan for an “ultimate deal” to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Bannon said Israel would hand over control of the occupied West Bank to Jordan, and the besieged Gaza Strip would be controlled by Egypt, according to Wolff.
Pivoting from Trump himself, Bannon plunged on with the Trump agenda. “Day one we’re moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Netanyahu’s all-in. Sheldon” — Adelson, the casino billionaire and far-right Israel defender — “is all-in. We know where we’re heading on this … Let Jordan take the West Bank, let Egypt take Gaza. Let them deal with it. Or sink trying.”
“Where’s Donald on this?” asked Ailes, the clear implication being that Bannon was far out ahead of his benefactor.
“He’s totally onboard.”
“I wouldn’t give Donald too much to think about,” said an amused Ailes.
The exchange between Bannon and Ailes adds further confirmation to the Trump administration's collusion with Israel, which was revealed in special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s indictment of General Michael Flynn. He lied to FBI agents about his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, then-Russian Ambassador to the United States, in December 2016, when Trump was president-elect. Acting on orders from Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, Flynn contacted Kislyak to ask if Russia would delay or veto a UN Security Council vote criticizing Israeli settlements.
Flynn also reached out to Kislyak on December 29, 2016, the day after former President Barack Obama signed an executive order imposing sanctions against Russia as punishment for alleged Russian “meddling” in the 2016 US presidential elections. According to the indictment, Flynn asked Russia to “refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia.”
‘Fire and Fury’ is set to hit shelves on January 9. Though the White House has dismissed the book as fiction, Trump’s attorney Charles J. Harder demanded the publisher, Henry Holt and Co., “immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the book.”
Following the publication of excerpts quoting Bannon Wednesday, Trump disparaged his former chief strategist. “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency,” Trump said. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”