Trump: Netanyahu ‘Tough, Smart and Strong’

View of a large billboard on a building with pictures of President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, as part of the Likud election campaign, in Tel Aviv. (Roy Alima/Flash90)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is “tough, smart and strong,” President Donald Trump believes, and Netanyahu’s legal issues should not affect the chances for Trump’s “deal of the century” peace plan. Trump made the comments at a press conference in Hanoi after the conclusion of his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in response to a question by a reporter from Kan News.

That question involved the possibility of success of the president’s peace plan, and the ability of Netanyahu to carry it out, given the indictment threat hanging over the head of the Israeli leader. Trump said that he was not aware of Netanyahu’s legal issues, “but he’s been a great prime minister. He’s tough, he’s smart, he’s strong, he’s very defensive. His military has been built up a lot by a lot of equipment from the United States and they pay for it, of course, as you know, we give them tremendous subsidies; $4 billion is a lot each year.”

Trump said that he hoped his peace plan would be embraced by both sides. “There is a chance for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. It’s interesting, all my life I’ve heard the toughest of all deals would be peace between Israel and the Palestinians. They said it’s like the impossible deal. I’d love to be able to produce it. We’ll see what happens.”

Trump also related to his recent decision to stop funding the PA. Emphasizing that they have been “better” in recent months, the president said that “we were paying the Palestinians a lot of money and I ended that about two years ago because they weren’t saying the right things. Why would we pay someone who is not saying nice things about us and and not really wanting to go to the peace table? I think we’ve got a really good shot at peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” he added.