Trump criticized the move by a world leader he’d considered an ally, saying flatly of Netanyahu: “Fuck him,” Ravid reported.
Netanyahu was “very early … earlier than most world leaders,” Trump inaccurately insisted to the reporter, referring to Netanyahu’s congratulations after the November 2020 election. “I haven’t spoken to him since. Fuck him,” Trump added, according to Ravid’s account in Axios.
In fact, Netanyahu didn’t congratulate President-elect Biden until several hours after many other foreign leaders, and he didn’t call him for another two weeks.
Netanyahu responded to the report in a statement published in Axios later Friday, emphasizing that Israel’s relationship with the United States remains vital and that it was “important for me to congratulate the incoming President.”
Trump reportedly revealed his fury in interviews in April for Ravid’s upcoming book, “Trump’s Peace,” which is due out Sunday in the U.S.
Trump expected complete loyalty from Netanyahu, and that apparently included support for his lies that the 2020 presidential election had been rigged against him, according to Ravid’s recollections in Axios.
“Nobody did more for Bibi. I liked Bibi. I still like Bibi,” Trump said, referring to Netanyahu by his nickname and calling him “the man that I did more for than any other person I dealt with.”
But “I also like loyalty,” Trump reportedly said. “The first person to congratulate Biden was Bibi. And not only did he congratulate him, he did it on tape.”
Ravid said Trump told him: “Bibi could have stayed quiet. He made a terrible mistake.”
Netanyahu tweeted his congratulations to Biden and in a video on Nov. 8, 2020, the day after the presidential race had been called for Biden.
Netanyahu said in his message that he and Biden had enjoyed a “long & warm personal relationship” for almost 40 years and that he viewed Biden as a “great friend of Israel.”
Netanyahu also thanked Trump on Twitter and in his video.
Netanyahu was Israel’s prime minister for 15 years, relinquishing the role last June to Naftali Bennett. He is now considered leader of the opposition in Israel.