Tags: Barack Obama | Donald Trump | Israel | tom cole | obama | trump | netanyahu

Rep. Tom Cole: Resolution Is Obama's 'Last Insult' to Netanyahu

(MSNBC)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Dec 2016 12:21 PM

President Barack Obama dealt a final insult to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu through his actions concerning the United Nation's Security Council resolution on Israel's settlements, following a "series of calculated insults" through the years, Rep. Tom Cole said Tuesday.

"It's a break in policy making sure UN resolutions are not one-sided," the Oklahoma Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "This clearly was. To do it the last 30 days of your presidency, when you know the incoming administration holds a different position, I think, was reckless and reprehensible. And I think I'll be interested to see whether or not the Israeli charge that the United States actually colluded in this is true."

But Obama's relationship with Netanyahu through the years has been insulting, Cole said, and "I think it was a last insult on the way out the door."

"He's let it out personally a couple of times when microphones caught him, that they certainly didn't like President Netanyahu," Cole said. "He kept him waiting one time, famously, in the White House while the president and his family had dinner [and] didn't invite the prime minister to join them."

And to take such action that is "deliberately at odds" with what President-elect Donald Trump is going to do "shows a certain pettiness that I'm surprised to see in President Obama, who usually rises above these sorts of things."

Cole said Obama has been supportive of Israel in terms of defensive weapons, but then there was the Iranian nuclear agreement, which was "very reckless and I think it endangered Israel."

Meanwhile, Cole is looking at the challenges Congress is facing as Trump takes office.

"Three-quarters of our conference have never served with a Republican president, that's how new this majority is," Cole said. "It's a totally different thing when your side occupies the White House. And it's really important to be cohesive. You can't expect the Democrats to pass the president's agenda. Now, there'll be areas where we can get some step, certainly on infrastructure and perhaps on some areas of tax reform, but by and large, they're going to be an opposition party."

Further, Republicans can't shut down the government when they are running the government, the congressman pointed out.

"We have a great opportunity, honestly, on everything from tax reform to infrastructure to actually border security, to get some really big things done for the American people," he said. "If we fail to do that, I think we'll be judged very harshly, and honestly, I think we should be."

Cole said he would give both Trump and Obama high marks for the way they've conducted the transition, but the actions on the UN vote "seem a little bit more personal to me."

"[Trump] also has an obligation on something this major to make it crystal clear that this is a very transitory moment," Cole said. "Once there's a new president of the United States, the policy will revert to what it's historically been."

He also disagreed with Obama's statement contending he would have defeated Trump, had he been able to seek a third term in office.

"I think people get pretty tired of you after eight years, no matter how good the show's been," Cole said. "I think that's a little bit graceless, where Secretary [Hillary] Clinton was concerned. These guys all have pretty strong egos . . . they all think they can win anything, all the time. But there's a reason that only Franklin Roosevelt's pulled this off."

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President Barack Obama dealt a final insult to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu through his actions concerning the United Nation's Security Council resolution on Israel's settlements, following a series of calculated insults through the years, Rep. Tom Cole said Tuesday.
tom cole, obama, trump, netanyahu, united nations, israel
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2016-21-27
Tuesday, 27 Dec 2016 12:21 PM
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