The White House said Monday it was "surprised" to learn through press reports that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had declined an invitation to meet President Barack Obama on March 18, just ahead of Obama’s trip to Cuba. "Reports that we were not able to accommodate the Prime Minister's schedule are false,” said National Security Council Spokesman Ned Price.
Senior minister Yuval Steinitz confirmed that Netanyahu had cancelled his trip to Washington – but only for the reason that in the heated Republican contest between Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubico and the generally heated political atmosphere, any step he took would be misconstrued as interference.
If he addressed the AIPAC conference in Washington, as he usually does, he would find it hard to turn down requests for meetings by the 2016 candidates on the same platform.
Michael Bloomberg has meanwhile announced he will not run as a third-party candidate for the presidency.