23 September 2020
WASHINGTON POST — Most politicians go to great lengths to conceal their dirty laundry.
And then there’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Over the years, the Israeli leader has developed a reputation among the staff at the U.S. president’s guesthouse for bringing special cargo on his trips to Washington: bags and suitcases full of dirty laundry, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
The clothes are cleaned for the prime minister free of charge by the U.S. staff, a perk that is available to all foreign leaders but sparingly taken advantage of given the short stays of busy heads of state.
“The Netanyahus are the only ones who bring actual suitcases of dirty laundry for us to clean,” said one U.S. official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the details of a foreign leader’s visits. “After multiple trips, it became clear this was intentional.” …
The relatively minor accusation joins a longer list of corruption allegations that have threatened the 70-year-old leader’s hold on power and triggered protests in Israel this month. Netanyahu was indicted in November in a corruption trial involving gifts from wealthy friends and allegations that he sought regulatory benefits for media magnates in return for positive coverage. He is accused of accepting nearly $200,000 worth of gifts from business executives including cases of champagne and boxes of cigars. The trial opened in May and is scheduled to resume in January. […]