Trump continues damage control over criticism of Israel after Hamas assault

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Republican presidential candidate former US president Donald Trump speaks Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, at Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Republican presidential candidate former US president Donald Trump speaks Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, at Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Former US president Donald Trump continues engaging in damage control as he continues to come under fire over his criticism of Israel after the Hamas onslaught.

In a post on Truth Social, Trump writes, “I have always been impressed by the skill and determination of the Israeli Defense Forces. As they defend their Nation against ruthless terrorists, I want to wish every soldier the best of luck. May you return home safely to your families, and may God bless you all!”

Yesterday, Rolling Stone magazine reported that Trump has privately been calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be “impeached” for failing to anticipate the massive Hamas onslaught.

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 criticizing 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;” and laying into Netanyahu for not doing enough to assist the US in the latter’s 2020 killing of Quds force chief Qassem Soleimani.

After his remarks gained lots of attention in Israel and the US, Trump’s campaign issued a statement declaring, “There was no better friend or ally of Israel than President Donald J. Trump.”

His campaign later issued an additional statement listing all of the steps Trump took as president to support Israel.

On Friday, Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said the Rolling Stone report was “100% untrue” and “never happened.”

“These unnamed “sources” are simply making this up out of thin air. This is the most egregious example of Fake News,” Cheung wrote on X.

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