President Donald Trump rolled out the red carpet for the Israeli prime minister Monday, a day before he planned to unveil his Middle East peace plan and as the Senate impeachment trial continued on Capitol Hill.
The timing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit -- paired with another Monday meeting with Netanyahu's chief political rival, Benny Gantz -- seemed designed to draw a contrast with the trial and boost Netanyahu's standing as he faces an election in five weeks.
Trump said he would unveil his much-delayed peace plan during remarks with the prime minister Tuesday, saying it would be a "suggestion" for Israelis and Palestinians.
Doing so right before an Israeli election and elevating Netanyahu over his rival fits a pattern in which Trump has aimed to provide domestic boosts for his ally.
Asked about accusations that he was meddling in Israeli domestic politics, Trump said, "one of the reasons that Mr. Gantz is here is for that reason."
A senior source involved with the process insisted that revealing the plan now was not designed to distract from impeachment, but was rather a reaction to political realities in Israel. The president reached a decision to move forward with the unveiling within the last of couple weeks, the person said.
"This is probably quite literally one of the biggest problems to take on in the entire world," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told Fox News in an interview Monday morning.
Even as Trump teased the plan's unveiling, he acknowledged that Palestinians would likely initially reject it.
Palestinian officials cut off ties with the White House after the United States in 2017 recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. They were conspicuously absent from the plan's rollout.
Several regional news outlets reported Monday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had refused to speak on the phone with Trump. The American president did not directly say whether the reports were true when asked about them Monday.
"We think we will ultimately have the support of the Palestinians, but we're going to see," Trump told reporters at the start of his first of two Oval Office meetings with Netanyahu on Monday.
He called Palestinians "great negotiators" who would likely first respond, "Oh, we don't want anything."
In fact, the Palestinians have already rejected Trump's peace initiative, accusing him and his administration of decisions blatantly biased in favor of Israel.
The White House has not responded to repeated questions in recent days about whether it has been in touch with any Palestinian officials about the plan.
If the plan were to fail, Trump said, "life goes on" and "we can live with it."
The Trump administration has repeatedly delayed the rollout of the closely guarded plan for peace between Israel and its neighbors, amid political turmoil in Israel. Two parliamentary elections in under seven months have failed to result in a stable government, while Netanyahu himself was indicted for fraud, bribery and breach of trust.
The president's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner oversaw the formulation of the peace plan, which has been three years in the making.
Netanyahu himself faces an uncertain future as he tries to get Israel's parliament to grant him immunity from prosecution in his corruption cases.
The administration hopes that Israel will coalesce around the plan regardless of the outcome of the March election.
ABC News' Jordyn Phelps contributed reporting to this article.