Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded Friday to former President Trump’s accusation that he showed disloyalty by congratulating President Biden on his election win last year, saying he did so in the best interest of his country.
“It was important for me to congratulate the incoming president,” Netanyahu said about reports of an interview Trump did earlier this year with an Israeli reporter in which Trump claimed he hadn’t spoken with Netanyahu since the perceived slight.
He added, “I highly appreciate President Trump’s big contribution to Israel and its security. I also appreciate the importance of the strong alliance between Israel and the U.S,” Axios reported.
Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and then-President Trump stand during an Abraham Accords signing ceremony event on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. (Getty Images)
Trump in the interview with journalist Barak Ravid reportedly said, “Nobody did more for Bibi,” referring to Netanyahu’s nickname. “And 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 SLAMS NETANYAHU IN CURSE-FILLED INTERVIEW FOR CONGRATULATING BIDEN: ‘F— HIM’
“F— him,” Trump said, according to comments released from the interview.
President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend the Abraham Accords signing ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington, Sept. 15, 2020. (Associated Press)
Around 12 hours after the election was called for Biden last year, Netanyahu posted a message to Twitter, writing, “Congratulations Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Joe, we’ve had a long and warm personal relationship for nearly 40 years, and I know you as a great friend of Israel. I look forward to working with both of you to further strengthen the special alliance between the US and Israel.”
Then-US Vice President Joe Biden, right, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, center, and Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, left, during a state memorial service for Israel’s former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at Israel’s parliament, the Knesset on Jan. 13, 2014, in Jerusalem. (Getty Images)
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In a second tweet, he thanked Trump for the “friendship” he showed to Israel and him during his presidency.
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.