On March 7, 2019, I entered the Oval Office for the first time in my life.
Vice President Mike Pence, a friend since 2012, and I had just had lunch in the White House Mess. We had discussed the administration’s Middle East peace plan, which was then still in development, and my recent private meetings with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II.
“Have you ever met the President?” Pence had asked as we finished our meals.
I had not.
“Follow me,” he said.
The next thing I knew, I was shaking hands with President Donald J. Trump, who smiled broadly as Pence introduced me as a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, an author of novels and non-fiction books about the threat of radical Islamism, and an Evangelical.
“Great to meet you, Joel, welcome to the White…
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