Former US president Donald Trump has privately been calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be “impeached” for failing to anticipate the massive Hamas onslaught, according to a Thursday report.
The stance has been advocated in calls Trump has held with several pro-Israel, Republican allies who have asked the former president and current GOP presidential frontrunner how he would handle the current Israel-Hamas war, Rolling Stone magazine said, citing two sources familiar with the matter.
Trump has proposed capturing and extraditing Hamas figures along with cutting off all US humanitarian aid to the Palestinians (in both the West Bank and Gaza, as he did when he was president), Rolling Stone said
In most of the conversations, though, Trump has focused on his distaste for Netanyahu, whom he has never forgiven for congratulating US President Joe Biden after he won the 2020 election.
Trump has expressed his desire for Netanyahu to be out of office by the time he hopes to be back in the White House as president in 2025, according to the report.
Trump, who was twice impeached himself, has asked multiple close aides whether he should begin publicly calling for Netanyahu’s ouster but has thus far been told that doing so would not be appropriate while Israel is still counting the dead from the massive Hamas assault.
The Rolling Stone report came as Trump was already under fire from Israel, Biden and even Republican rivals over comments he made at a campaign rally on Wednesday appearing to mock Jerusalem over the intelligence failure that led to the Hamas assault, calling Defense Minister Yoav Gallant a “jerk” and the Hezbollah terror group “very smart.”
Trump made the comments while recalling his administration’s 2020 assassination of Qassem Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force.
Trump reiterated his claim that Netanyahu backed out at the last minute from actively taking part in the killing.
“I’ll never forget that Bibi Netanyahu let us down. That was a very terrible thing. We were very disappointed, but we did the job ourselves, and it was absolute precision, magnificent, beautiful job,” he said. “Then Bibi tried to take credit for it. That didn’t make me feel too good. But that’s all right.”
Netanyahu’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But communications minister Shlomo Karhi told Israel’s Channel 13 that it is “shameful that a man like that, a former US president, abets propaganda and disseminates things that wound the spirit of Israel’s fighters and its citizens.”
His campaign issued an additional statement listing all of the steps Trump took as president to support Israel.
“Our nation’s support for Israel is resolute and unwavering,” read a tweet from Biden’s X account, which links to a clip from Trump’s campaign rally. “The right time to praise the terrorists who seek to destroy them is never.”
Unlike the former president, who regularly used the platform to attack rivals and send unfiltered messages to the public, Biden is widely understood to not be personally operating his own social media account.