US lawmakers demanded Netanyahu turn off cameras during meeting

Lindsey Graham reportedly demanded Netanyahu not film meeting with U.S. delegation after lawmakers spot camera, microphone in room.

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli opposition leader and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with a delegation of American lawmakers and diplomats Monday, for talks focusing on Iran’s nuclear program, and efforts at Vienna to restore the nuclear deal.

Five U.S. senators and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives joined the delegation, which was headed by South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham. Only one Democrat, New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez joined the delegation, which included senators Cindy Hyde-smith of Mississippi, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, and Representative Ronny Jackson of Texas.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides joined the delegation for its meeting with Netanyahu.

According to a report by Walla, however, two sources with knowledge of the meeting say that Netanyahu and his staff had brought a video camera to what was billed as a closed-door meeting with the American delegation.

Upon entering the room, American lawmakers were surprised to find the camera prepared to film the meeting.

Ambassador Nides reportedly spotted Netanyahu wearing a microphone on his jacket.

Netanyahu brushed off concerns from the American delegation, but Senator Graham insisted, demanding that all recording devices be removed as a condition for the meeting to be held as planned.

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In response to the report, Netanyahu’s office said there was “no drama”, claiming that staffers had been prepared to record the meeting as a matter of protocol, adding that the staff complied when the American delegation asked that they not be filmed.

“The request was honored and the camera was removed.”

The delegation met with Netanyahu to hear his views on the outline for a new Iran nuclear deal currently under consideration in Vienna.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid hinted this week that talks in Vienna appear to have reached an impasse, but said it was “too early” to know if Israel has succeeded in preventing a new agreement.

“It is still too early to know if we have indeed succeeded in stopping the nuclear agreement, but Israel is prepared for every threat and every scenario,” Lapid said.