Former President Donald Trump lashed out at former Israel Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu in a new Axios interview this week, and said he no longer speaks to Netanyahu.
In an interview with Axios’ Barak Ravid for a forthcoming podcast, Trump said, “I haven’t spoken to him since … F-ck him,” adding criticism for Netanyahu immediately congratulating now-President Joe Biden on his election victory amid Trump’s dispute of the results.
“The first person that congratulated [Biden] was Bibi Netanyahu, the man that I did more for than any other person I dealt with. … Bibi could have stayed quiet. He has made a terrible mistake,” Trump told Axios.
Netanyahu had released a special video days after the 2020 presidential election in which he congratulated Biden, calling him a “friend” of Israel, and thanked Trump and recognizing his accomplishments in the middle east. The video still angered Trump, who viewed it as disloyal.
“I liked Bibi. I still like Bibi. But I also like loyalty. The first person to congratulate Biden was Bibi. And not only did he congratulate him, he did it on tape,” Trump told Axios. “He was very early — like, earlier than most.”
Trump pointed to the delayed messages from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Russian President Vladimir Putin recognizing Biden’s victory. “They felt the election was rigged,” he said.
Trump said the video affected how the Israeli people saw Netanyahu.
“The video was almost like he’s begging for love. And I said, ‘My, my how things change.’ So, you know, I was disappointed. That hurt him badly with the people of Israel. As you know, I’m very popular in Israel. I think it hurt him very badly.”
During his administration, Trump worked closely with Netanyahu and inked deals such as moving to the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, establishing the Abraham Accords, and more. Trump maintains he had helped Israel more than any other U.S. president, and believes Netanyahu would’ve lost his election without Trump’s help.
One year ago today, Trump announced the Kingdom of Morocco as the fourth Middle Eastern country to establish diplomatic relations with Israel during his presidency.
In August 2020, Trump announced a peace deal between Israel and United Arab Emirates (UAE), called the “Abraham Accord.” In September 2020, Trump announced Bahrain also joined into a peace agreement with Israel, and in October 2020, Trump announced Sudan as a third country to join on to a peace agreement with Israel.
Netanyahu had said in late November 2020, “Israel has no better friend in the world than the United States of America.”