JERUSALEM (AP) — Former President Donald Trump lashed out with profanity at Benjamin Netanyahu for congratulating President Biden on his victory in last year’s election, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.
Trump accused the former Israeli leader of disloyalty, saying he had helped Netanyahu in his own elections by reversing decades of U.S. policy and supporting Israel‘s claims to territory seized in war. Trump is still falsely claiming the U.S. election was stolen from him.
“Nobody did more for Bibi. And I liked Bibi. I still like Bibi,” Trump said, referring to Netanyahu by his nickname, in the remarks published by the Yediot Aharonot newspaper. “But I also like loyalty. … Bibi could have stayed quiet. He has made a terrible mistake.”
Netanyahu congratulated Biden more than 12 hours after the election had been called and after most other world leaders. Netanyahu did not refer to him as president-elect in the tweet, and followed it up with a post praising Trump.
Trump appeared to be particularly incensed by a video released by Netanyahu on Jan. 20, the day Biden was inaugurated, in which Netanyahu said he and Biden had a “warm personal friendship going back many decades.”
The Trump administration took unprecedented steps to support Israel, including dropping objections to its settlements in the occupied West Bank and recognizing Jerusalem as its capital. After proposing a Mideast plan that was adamantly rejected by the Palestinians, the administration brokered normalization agreements between Israel and four Arab states.
The Trump administration also withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, to which Israel had been strongly opposed. After he re-imposed U.S. sanctions that had been lifted under the deal, Iran began publicly exceeding the limits it had set on its nuclear program. Biden is now working with world powers to try to restore the agreement.
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