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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Trump

Official White House Photo by D.Myles Cullen

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday declined to take the bait when Donald Trump invited him to attack Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Trump hosted Netanyahu and other foreign leaders on a conference call in the Oval Office to announce "normalization of relations," according to the White House.

"Do you think Sleepy Joe could have made this deal, Bibi? Sleepy Joe, do you think he would have made this deal somehow?" Trump asked Netanyahu.


Instead of attacking Biden, Netanyahu instead responded, "We appreciate the help for peace from anyone in America."

It is not traditional for the U.S. president to ask foreign leaders to attack his political rivals, especially not while operating in the Oval Office. But Trump has repeatedly used traditionally nonpartisan functions of the government to act in service of his own political interests.


From an Oct. 23 press availability:

DONALD TRUMP: Do you think Sleepy Joe could have made this deal, Bibi? Sleepy Joe, do you think he would have made this deal somehow? I don't think so.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Well, Mr. President, one thing I can tell you is we appreciate the help for peace from anyone in America. We appreciate what you've done enormously.
TRUMP: Yeah.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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