“I am appalled that the US Embassy in Saudi Arabia disingenuously posted this incomplete and misleading video,” Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) wrote on Monday to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, referring to an embassy tweet of the American embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia which omitted President Trump’s reference to his upcoming Israel visit.
Twitter user @USAinKSA posted a clip of President Donald Trump’s rose garden announcement of his first travel abroad, with the destinations Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican. @USAinKSA edited the video to remove Trump’s mention of Israel.
“I am appalled that the US Embassy in Saudi Arabia disingenuously posted this incomplete and misleading video. At a time when the United States should be encouraging the governments of the region—and their people—to promote tolerance, respect, and mutual recognition this video implies that the US accepts Saudi Arabia’s public rejectionist position toward Israel,” Engel wrote.
“This video plays into a rejectionist narrative and thus has no place in any social media—or any other form of communication—associated with the United States government. I urge you to immediately instruct the embassy to replace the video with the unedited version that includes the announcement of the President’s planned visit to Israel,” concluded Engel, who is the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The tweet was removed after POLITICO reported about it on Monday, and a State Dept. official told the news website that “the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh shared a version of the video announcement from a private Saudi citizen’s social media account. Unknowingly, the shared version had been edited to remove the word ‘Israel.’”
“Upon learning this, the U.S. Embassy immediately corrected the error, took down the video, and loaded the correct version to its social media accounts,” the same official concluded, adding that the embassy regrets the “inadvertent mistake.”