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Trump: ‘Only a crazy or an idiot wouldn’t respond like Israel did to Oct. 7’

The former U.S. president's secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, also gave public backing to the pending Rafah operation.

U.S. President Donald Trump gives a fist pump after disembarking Air Force One on Sept. 8, 2020, at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C. Credit: Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House.
U.S. President Donald Trump gives a fist pump after disembarking Air Force One on Sept. 8, 2020, at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C. Credit: Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House.

Former U.S. president and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump expressed support for Jerusalem’s response to Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre in an excerpt from an interview with Israel Hayom published on Monday.

“Only a crazy or an idiot wouldn’t respond like Israel did to October 7,” he told the Hebrew-language newspaper. The full interview was scheduled to be published later on Monday.

Mike Pompeo, who served as secretary of state in the Trump administration, on Saturday gave his public backing for an Israeli military operation in Rafah city in southern Gaza, Hamas’s last stronghold in the enclave.

Considered a strong supporter of Israel during his time at Foggy Bottom from 2018 until 2021, Pompeo tweeted that “allowing Hamas to remain in Rafah would be like firefighters only putting out 80% of a fire. We should support Israel’s mission to completely defeat Hamas.”

For his part, Trump has said that the Hamas-led massacre of Oct. 7 would not have happened if he remained president instead of the current officeholder, Democrat Joe Biden.

“If he [Biden] were supportive of Israel, the Iran nuclear deal would have never been signed and Israel would have never been attacked,” Trump told Fox News on March 17, adding: “I’ll bet you I would have had Iran in the Abraham Accords.”

Forty-four percent of Israelis want Trump to win November’s election, compared to 30% who would prefer Biden to secure a second term, according to a Channel 12 poll published on March 12.

Twenty-six percent of respondents said they did not know whom they wanted elected.

Breaking the figures down, 72% of respondents who voted for parties in Netanyahu’s governing coalition said they preferred Trump, while 8% chose Biden. By contrast, 55% of respondents who cast a ballot for parties in the Israeli opposition preferred Biden, compared to 23% for Trump.

The poll of 504 Israelis had a maximum sampling error of 4.4 percentage points.

Trump and Biden clinched the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations, respectively, in primaries earlier this month, setting up a rematch of the 2020 election.

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