White House says it does not endorse candidates after Likud poster features Trump

The campaign ad reads "Netanyahu: In another league," above the two men shaking hands.

February 5, 2019 19:10
4 minute read.
Elections poster showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shaking hands with US President Donald Tr

Elections poster showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shaking hands with US President Donald Trump. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


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WASHINGTON – The Trump administration was compelled to respond on Tuesday to a viral Israeli campaign poster showing US President Donald Trump grinning alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – an image that, to some, implied an endorsement.

It does not appear that administration officials or the president were made aware in advance of the massive campaign ads running in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, which tout Netanyahu’s warm relationship with the US leader.
But Trump’s account on Instagram shared a photo of the Tel Aviv poster on Tuesday morning, causing a media firestorm in Israel of speculation that the president was formally endorsing the incumbent premier.

“It’s no secret that President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu have a strong relationship based upon mutual respect and that they reflect the mutual admiration and affection of Americans and Israelis,” a senior White House official said, while adding: “The post was not a political endorsement.”

The official also confirmed that the administration was not endorsing any candidate in the Israeli race.

The campaign ad reads “Netanyahu: In another league,” above the two men shaking hands.

Social media spotted that the original photo of the two men, taken in Trump Tower shortly after Trump’s election in 2016, was edited to make Netanyahu slightly taller.

Last week, Likud released a video including a Trump cameo.

The video ends with the Likud’s new slogan: “Netanyahu: In another league.”

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.

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