On a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, President Donald Trump invited him to make a jab at Democratic candidate Joe Biden. But Netanyahu didn’t bite, aware that he could instead be on the phone with Biden in just a short matter of time.

After announcing to the Israeli Prime Minister that Sudan would become the third Arab state to normalize relations with Israel under a White House agreement, Trump probed Netanyahu: “Do you think Sleepy Joe could have made this deal, Bibi? Sleepy Joe?” He added, “Do you think he would’ve made this deal? Somehow, I don’t think so.”

But after briefly hesitating, Netanyahu held strong, responding: “Well, Mr. President, one thing I can tell you is we appreciate the help for peace from anyone in America. And we appreciate what you’ve done enormously.”

His reply left President Trump embarrassed, especially as he sat in the presence of reporters in the Oval Office.


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The Trump administration has pursued a Middle East policy that largely favors Israel and focuses on keeping it safe from powerful neighboring threats, such as Iran. And Netanyahu has used his diplomacy with President Trump for political gain, promoting his Likud Party in elections.

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