Times of Israel reports that President Donald Trump signed a secret letter pledging not to strong-arm the Jewish state into relinquishing its nuclear weapons after Israel’s ambassador to the United States reportedly pressured the administration last year.
A rare moment of tension between the Israeli government and Trump White House in February 2017 came a month after Trump entered office and was said to devolve into yelling and profanity, according to a report by The New Yorker on Monday.
According to the report, Israel was looking for the Trump administration to sign off on an understanding first reached between prime minister Golda Meir and US president Richard Nixon, whereby Israel would neither declare, test or threaten to use nuclear weapons in exchange for the US not pushing Israel to join the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Similar letters were later signed by other US presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Shortly after US President Donald Trump’s inauguration, Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer came to the White House to discuss adding Trump’s signature to the letter. Trump aides were caught off guard by Dermer’s request and told him they needed some time to study the issue.
Despite the initial tensions, Trump would sign the letter, the report said.