1248 GMT May 21, 2022
He made the remarks in a series of interviews with Israeli journalist Barak Ravid earlier this year for an upcoming book, whose excerpts were released on Saturday, Press TV reported.
In the taped comments broadcast by Israel’s Channel 12, Trump claimed that when he came into office, he had asked Netanyahu for overtures toward the Palestinians, raising the possibility of a settlement construction freeze in the occupied West Bank, but the Israeli premier often demurred.
“Bibi did not want to make a deal,” he said, using Netanyahu’s nickname. “I don’t think Bibi ever wanted to make peace. I think he just tapped us along… ‘No, no, we want to, we want to’… But I think Bibi did not want to make peace. Never did.”
“Now I don’t know if he didn’t want to make it for political reasons, or for other reasons. I wish he would have said he didn’t want to make a deal, instead of…. Because a lot of people devoted a lot of work. But I don’t think Bibi would have ever made a deal. That’s my opinion,” he added.
Meanwhile, the former US president said he believed that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “wanted to make a deal more than Netanyahu. And I will be honest, I had a great meeting with him, Abbas, right. I had a great meeting with him. And we spent a lot of time together, talking about many things. And it was almost like a father. I mean, he was so nice, couldn’t have been nicer.”
Trump recalled he then told Netanyahu that “I had a very good meeting with Abbas. We can definitely do a deal. The Israeli leader’s response? ‘Well, let’s think about it. Let’s not move too fast, you know.’ After he started talking, I said, wait a minute, you don’t want to make a deal.”
“And he said, ‘Well, uh, uh, uh.’ And the fact is I don’t think Bibi ever wanted to make a deal. I [had] thought the Palestinians were impossible, and the Israelis would do anything to make peace and a deal. I found that not to be true,” he went on to say.
Trump further claimed that he had himself stopped the Israeli plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
“I got angry and I stopped it, because that was really going too far. That was going way too far, you know, when [Netanyahu] did the big ‘Let’s build. Let’s take everything and just start building on it.’ We were not happy about that.”