Trump Rails on Netanyahu With Expletive for Congratulating Biden
(Bloomberg) -- Ex-President Donald Trump lambasted his one-time ally Benjamin Netanyahu, suggesting the former Israeli prime minister was disloyal for being too quick to congratulate Joe Biden on his 2020 election victory.
Netanyahu “was very early — like, earlier than most,” Trump said during an interview for a new book on his Middle East diplomacy by Walla News and Axios reporter Barak Ravid. “I haven’t spoken to him since. F--- him.”
Trump and Netanyahu -- Israel’s longest-serving prime minister -- developed one of the closest political relationships while the two men were in office. The then-U.S. leader took a series of unprecedented steps seen as bolstering that alliance, including moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
In addition, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was the architect of a Middle East peace plan seen as highly favorable toward Israel and, in turn, the political standing of both leaders.
That bonhomie appears to be over.
In his interview with Ravid, Trump said he was shocked when his wife Melania shared Netanyahu’s video congratulating Biden, though the Israeli prime minister was not the first foreign leader to do so. And Trump praised President Vladimir Putin of Russian and Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil for withholding their congratulations initially.
‘I Also Like Loyalty’
“I liked Bibi. I still like Bibi. But I also like loyalty,” Trump said, using a nickname for Netanyahu.
Trump officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the remarks. Netanyahu’s video congratulating Biden also offered words of appreciation for Trump. It was released on Nov. 8, five days after the election but only a day after Biden’s victory was declared.
In a statement through his former spokesman, Netanyahu said he “greatly appreciates President Trump’s great contribution to the State of Israel and its security. He also greatly appreciated the importance of the strong alliance between Israel and the United States and therefore it was important for him to congratulate the incoming U.S. president.”
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