An Israeli mayor said Thursday he had taught Donald Trump “everything” about how to win elections… despite never having met him.
“It is a fact that Trump learned from me, he learned everything from me,” Ali Salam, the Muslim mayor of the largely Arab-Israeli city of Nazareth in northern Israel, told local radio.
His claims seemed to be partly based on the fact that, after his victory, Trump told supporters “I love you, I love you, I love you,” a phrase Salam said he himself used when he won the Nazareth election.
“That’s what I did when I won,” he said.
Salam did not claim to have ever met Trump, nor did he provide evidence that the president-elect knows he exists, but said that the 2014 battle for the Nazareth municipality had been ferocious like the US election.
And the two men share a lot of personality traits, Salam added. “Like me, he is a businessman who pursued his career and ignored anyone who stood in his way to get to the top.”
And also, “He does not take anyone into account when someone accused him of harassing women.”
Asked if Trump and Salam could perhaps have had similar ideas without coordination, the mayor was adamant, “This is no coincidence.”
The interview, conducted on Arabic-language radio, was widely shared between disbelieving locals.
If unknown to Trump, Salam, who has made headlines in Israel in recent years for bitterly criticizing Knesset members from the Arab sector, is known to Israel’s prime minister; he last met with Benjamin Netanyahu in January.