Israeli PM Netanyahu ‘Bringing Suitcases Full of Dirty Clothes to the White House to be washed’ by US staff

According to the report, the clothes are then "washed for Netanyahu free of charge by the U.S. staff," paid for by U.S. taxpayer money. 

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(Reuters)

U.S. officials are baffled by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s habit of bringing suitcases of dirty laundry from Israel to America on official visits so that the clothes can be washed by U.S. government workers.

The report in The Washington Post chimes with years of reporting by Israeli journalists but is the first time U.S. officials have commented on the matter in a leading U.S. publication. 

According to the Post, when Netanyahu arrives for official visits in Washington and stays at the Blair House, the Presidential Guesthouse located across from the White House, he brings “bags and suitcases full of dirty laundry” from Israel.

According to the report, the clothes are then “washed for Netanyahu free of charge by the U.S. staff,” and paid for by U.S. taxpayer’s money.

The Blair House provides free laundry services to all its guests, but the report clarifies that most leaders use it only to wash the clothes they and their families wear during their visit.

“The Netanyahus are literally the only ones who bring actual suitcases of dirty laundry for us to clean,” one U.S. official explained in the article. 

“After many trips, it became clear this was intentional.

‘They somehow hide it.’

Netanyahu has faced condemnation in Israel for years over the same behavior described in the report. 

In 2011, Israeli journalist Raviv Drucker reported for the first time about the Netanyahu family’s laundry habit. 

In 2018, Nir Hefetz, Netanyahu’s former spin doctor who turned into a state witness against him, said that “on every trip, suitcases come stuffed with laundry for dry cleaning, and I am telling you that journalists have inquired about it and I have checked the bills. Nothing emerges in the bills; they somehow hide it.”

Netanyahu was in the U.S. earlier this month for the signing of normalization accords between Israel and Bahrain and the UAE (United Arab Emirates).

According to The Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Netanyahu lives with his family during the week at the official Israeli Prime Minister’s residence, which has its washer and dryer and enjoys state-funded access to dry cleaning services.

(Oded Balilty/Pool via Reuters)

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