Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu skillfully “played” US President Donald Trump by plying him with inaccurate information, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson said.
Netanyahu, who is fighting for his political life after close elections, was “a bit Machiavellian” and would share “misinformation” with the United States, according to Trump’s former top diplomat.
Tillerson, who was fired by Trump last year, made the observations during a forum Tuesday at Harvard University as reported by The Harvard Gazette, the university’s official news outlet.
“In dealing with Bibi, it’s always useful to carry a healthy amount of skepticism in your discussions with him,” he was quoted as saying, using Netanyahu’s nickname.
“They did that with the president on a couple of occasions, to persuade him that ‘We’re the good guys, they’re the bad guys.’
“We later exposed it to the president so he understood, ‘You’ve been played,'” Tillerson said, according to the newspaper.
“It bothers me that an ally that’s that close and important to us would do that to us,” he said.
During two election campaigns this year, Netanyahu highlighted his warm relationship with Trump, who has taken long-sought Israeli positions such as recognizing Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital.
Netanyahu has long pushed for a hard US line on Iran — an issue that led to open tensions with Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama — and has mused about annexing parts of the occupied Palestinian West Bank.
Tillerson said he supported a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians — an idea unlikely to feature in a peace plan being led by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser.
Tillerson, a former ExxonMobil executive, has mostly kept a low profile after leaving the administration.
But Trump has twice branded Tillerson “dumb as a rock” after comments seen as questioning the mogul-turned-president’s abilities.
© 2019 AFP
Hypocrisy or stupidity? Trump’s utterly clueless sons rail against Hunter Biden’s nepotism
Former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday, and when asked if he thought foreign companies and investment banks would have hired him if his name wasn't Biden he said, "Probably not." He is correct. The younger Biden had little to no experience in the businesses for which he was paid big salaries. He was hired because he is the son of a powerful person, clearly in hopes that they would have some influence with the father and impress their customers with the fact that they were so close to someone with influence.
That reeks of class privilege and it is incredibly common in American business and politics. I don't think I have ever worked anywhere in my life where cronyism, nepotism and influence-peddling weren't present in some form or another. Hiring some ne'er-do-well relative is one of the ways rich and powerful people scratch each other's backs — and, not incidentally, ensure that the quasi-aristocracy of the one percent is perpetuated. If anything, what's uncommon is for some scion of the powerful to openly admit he only got the job was because of his name. Usually, they fatuously insist their "success" is due to their own unique brilliance and talent.
Trump waves off deaths in Syria: The Kurds are ‘no angels’
President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to leave Syria by saying the Kurds are "no angels."
Trump made the remarks during a White House meeting.
"They are no angels, by the way," he was quoted as saying about the Kurds.
Republicans have accused Trump of betraying a U.S. ally by abandoning the Kurds to be crushed by Turkish forces in Syria.
Read some of the reports below.
Per pool, Trump described the Kurds as "no angels." Your regular reminder that the Kurds were our allies in the fight against ISIS -- which Trump has taken full credit for eradicating.
Trump’s tax inconsistencies look like ‘bank fraud’: Ex-prosecutor
On Wednesday, former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance argued that the inconsistencies in Trump's tax information resemble outright "bank fraud," and must be subject to further investigation:
No surprise that Trump’s NY state tax filings are inconsistent with bank loan applications. Perhaps there’s an explanation but it looks like either bank fraud or tax fraud & at a minimum, merits further investigation. https://t.co/czxdpNjrvA
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) October 16, 2019