Trump threatened Netanyahu with mean tweets: report
U.S. President Donald Trump (R) greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Donald Trump's since-suspended Twitter account was used to threaten a foreign leader according to a new report following an interview of Trump by Axios correspondent Barak Ravid.

"In May 2020, the U.S. was in the midst of the first wave of the pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests and a brutal election campaign," Ravid reported. "Netanyahu, meanwhile, had finally managed to form a government through a power-sharing deal with his archrival, retired Gen. Benny Gantz. But their coalition agreement included a ticking time bomb, insisted upon by Netanyahu: a July 1 deadline to start the process of annexing parts of the occupied West Bank — a violation of international law that could kill the two-state solution for good and potentially destabilize the region."

Netanyahu's move received widespread condemnation and threatened the White House's focus on normalizing relations between Israel and the Arab world.

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"Meanwhile, inside the Trump administration, ambassador to Israel David Friedman was pushing hard in favor of Netanyahu's annexation plan," he explained. "As Netanyahu and Gantz disagreed on the issue, Friedman even tried to mediate between them to move it forward."

After a chaotic Oval Office meeting in June of 2020, Trump dispatched Friedman and White House envoy Avi Berkowitz to meet with Netanyahu and Gantz on annexation, who held meetings over four days with Netanyahu.

"At one point, Friedman left the room and Berkowitz took advantage. 'I don’t know what David told you, but the meeting with the president on annexation went really bad,' Berkowitz told the prime minister, who had previously felt encouraged by Friedman," Ravid reported. "Netanyahu grew angrier still and threatened to move ahead, Trump or no Trump. Berkowitz warned that Netanyahu would make an enemy out of the U.S. president — and his Twitter account — and lack the international backing he needed on annexation."

Read the full report.