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Trump sharply criticizes Netanyahu over intelligence failure in newest signal of soured relationship | CNN Politics



Former President Donald Trump lashed out Wednesday at Benjamin Netanyahu, saying the Israeli prime minister was caught unprepared by Hamas’ assault and praising the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah as “very good.”

The remarks mirror the soured relationship between the 2 males and are notable at a time when Trump’s Republican presidential rivals have uniformly sought to place themselves as steadfast supporters of Netanyahu throughout Israel’s warfare with Hamas.

“(Netanyahu) has been damage very badly due to what’s occurred right here. He was not ready. He was not ready, and Israel was not ready,” Trump advised Fox Information’ Brian Kilmeade in an interview clip that aired Wednesday night time.

Trump went additional at a marketing campaign occasion in West Palm Seashore, Florida.

“Once I see typically the intelligence, you discuss in regards to the intelligence, otherwise you discuss among the issues that went improper over the past week, they’ve acquired to straighten it out as a result of they’re preventing probably a really large pressure,” Trump stated Wednesday.

Relating to Hezbollah, which the US and its allies have warned towards escalating the present battle, Trump stated, “They’re vicious, and so they’re good. And, boy, are they vicious, as a result of no one’s ever seen the type of sight that we’ve seen.”

The criticism is a stark reversal from the agency friendship Trump shared with Netanyahu whereas in workplace, embracing the Israeli chief at each flip. But it surely’s pushed by animosity Trump has held for Netanyahu ever because the prime minister publicly acknowledged that Joe Biden gained the 2020 election. Within the months that adopted, Trump accused Netanyahu of disloyalty and fumed to Axios, “F*** him.”

Although Trump later congratulated Netanyahu after he returned to energy late final 12 months, his hostility towards him has hardly waned, sources aware of his considering advised CNN, and Trump maintains that Netanyahu shouldn’t have commented on Biden’s win. On the marketing campaign occasion Wednesday night time, Trump once more resurfaced his false claims of election fraud and urged that Hamas’ assault wouldn’t have occurred if he have been president.

“If the election wasn’t rigged, there can be no one even enthusiastic about going into Israel,” the previous president advised his supporters.

He additionally invoked the US authorities’s 2020 killing of high Iranian basic Qasem Soleimani and claimed Israel declined to take part within the strike.

“I’ll always remember that Bibi Netanyahu allow us to down. That was a really horrible factor, I’ll say that,” Trump stated.

On the time, nonetheless, Netanyahu praised the strike, saying it was justified as a result of Soleimani “was planning additional assaults.”

When CNN pressed Netanyahu in his final interview with the community in September about whether or not the newfound hostility from Trump bothered him, the Israeli chief stated, “I’ve been lengthy sufficient within the political life to place apart the periodic ebb and circulate of emotion and to have a look at the substantive positions that leaders and allies have completed. … So, yeah, I don’t notably look after that. I imply, I don’t care about it, is the way in which I’d say it.”

Within the interview with Fox’s Kilmeade, Trump wouldn’t say if he has spoken with Netanyahu within the days because the Hamas assault.

“I don’t need to say about, you understand, who I’ve talked to. However I used to be very upset {that a} factor like this might occur,” the previous president stated.

Whereas a lot of the 2024 GOP discipline has in any other case been reluctant to criticize Trump head on, a couple of contenders seized on his Wednesday remarks.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has lately escalated his assaults towards Trump, posted on X, previously often known as Twitter: “(It) is absurd that anybody, a lot much less somebody working for president, would select now to assault our good friend and ally Israel, a lot much less reward Hezbollah terrorists as ‘very good.’”

Former Vice President Mike Pence additionally pushed again on his former boss’s remarks, saying, “Hezbollah aren’t good, they’re evil.”

“That is no time for the previous president, or another American chief to be sending any message aside from America stands with Israel,” Pence advised a neighborhood New Hampshire radio present Thursday.

Whereas Trump’s feedback towards Netanyahu are private, Israeli officers have acknowledged they have been caught abruptly when Hamas attacked. US officers have additionally stated they didn’t see intelligence that this sort of assault was going to unfold any greater than the Israelis did.

“We have been stunned this morning,” Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, the worldwide spokesperson for the Israel Protection Forces, advised CNN on Saturday. “About failures, I favor to not discuss at this level proper now. We’re in warfare. We’re preventing. I’m certain this might be an enormous query as soon as this occasion is over.”

Trump was a vocal Netanyahu ally throughout his presidency. He in the end ended the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and successfully took Israel’s facet in negotiations with Palestinians, shifting the US Embassy to Jerusalem and endorsing the annexation of West Financial institution and East Jerusalem settlements into Israel.

This story has been up to date with extra info.

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