Trump, Netanyahu Spar over Recognizing Joe Biden as 2020 Winner

President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Former President Donald Trump slammed former Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in remarks released Friday over the latter’s decision to recognize Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election, which Trump still disputes.

The Times of Israel reported that Trump, while still friendly to Netanyahu, said that he had not spoken to the former Israeli leader in months: “He was very early. Like earlier than most. I haven’t spoken to him since. Fuck him,” Trump exclaimed.

Trump added in the interview that his support for Israel transcended his personal relationship with Netanyahu, but rather stemmed from his “feelings towards Israel.”

The quotes appear in a forthcoming book by Israeli reporter Barak Ravid about Trump’s successful peacemaking initiatives in the Middle East, in which Netanyahu was a close partner. The two enjoyed a close and mutually supportive relationship.

That put Netanyahu in a tough position when networks called the 2020 election for Biden. On the one hand, Netanyahu wanted to support Trump. On the other, he could not afford to alienate the U.S. government in the event Biden took office.

As Breitbart News reported at the time, Netanyahu was actually quiet about the U.S. election for several days, and his political opponents in Israel began criticizing him for waiting to congratulate the apparent President-elect, until he did so.

Netanyahu responded on Friday, according to the Times of Israel:

“Former prime minister Netanyahu really appreciates the great contribution that president Trump made to the State of Israel and its security,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office said.

“He also really appreciates the importance of the strong alliance between Israel and the US, and it was therefore important for him to congratulate the incoming president,” the statement added, referring to Biden.

Netanyahu echoed Trump’s example in declaring the results of Israel’s 2021 parliamentary election stolen after a coalition of small opposition parties, led by his former aide, ousted him, though his own Likud Party had won more votes than any other.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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