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A dip into the pool reports: 'mostly

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U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, wearing sunglasses, stands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sarah, and Former British Prime Minister and Mideast Envoy Tony Blair during a ceremony for late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the Knesset plaza, Israel's Parliament, in Jerusalem, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner

From a White House pool report filed Monday by the Los Angeles Times's Mike Memoli, who is covering Vice President Joe Biden's trip to Israel to commemorate the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon:

[Biden] began by saying that when a "close-knit" country like Israel loses a man like Sharon, "it doesn’t just feel like the loss of a leader, it feels like a death in the family. Many of my fellow Americans, some of whom are here, feel that same sense of loss."

He said he knew him for 30 years, calling him "not only a powerful man, but a powerfully built man.” He had a “commanding presence. He filled the room.” In their first meeting, V.P. recalled, Sharon said: "You are mostly welcome."

"I didn’t know if it was a matter of something being lost in translation, or if he was pulling my leg, as we say in the States.”

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