‘More Critical Of Some Congressional Democrats’: Chuck Todd Presses Former Israeli PM On Trump’s Dinner With Ye

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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NBC News’ Chuck Todd pressed Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on “Meet the Press” Sunday on former President Donald Trump’s silence regarding Kanye “Ye” West’s antisemitic remarks.

Todd questioned the former prime minister as to why Trump struggles to denounce antisemitism following rapper Kanye “Ye” West’s praise of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler during a Thursday appearance on “InfoWars.” The former president also received criticism for hosting a dinner with West and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes at his Mar-a-Lago home in late November, though he denied having any prior knowledge of Fuentes’ views.

Netanyahu defended the former president’s “great” policies for Israel as he moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and recognized the city as its nation’s capital. He further praised his exit from the Iran Nuclear Deal.

“On this matter, on Kanye West and that other unacceptable guest, I think it’s not merely unacceptable, it’s just wrong,” he said. “And I hope he sees his way to staying out of it and condemning it.”

Todd accused the former prime minister of wanting to “praise” Trump in an “ends justify the means” argument. He then accused Trump’s alleged actions of leading to an increased surge of antisemitism in the U.S. Netanyahu argued that the “fusion” of the radical left and right in the “internet age” is responsible for the rise in antisemitism.

Todd further asked where he draws the line between working with leaders like Trump or Russian President Vladimir Putin and condemning them. Netanyahu said it is often necessary for leaders to meet with dictators and other foreign leaders to “balance” the best interest for their nations. (RELATED: Mike Pence Calls On Trump To ‘Apologize’ For Dinner With Nick Fuentes And Ye) 

“The issue of balancing interest with values, where do you draw the line. In real life, in real political life, you make real political leadership. Leaders of democratic countries constantly make that balance,” he said. “The President of the United States, who is an old friend of mine, Joe Biden…he meets sometimes with leaders of democracies and often leaders of dictatorships which he finds unsavory because he’s balancing America’s interest. Everybody does that. But for me, the dividing line is very clear. When it comes to questioning out existence, safeguarding our existence, then existence comes first.”

“So, it sounds like that you’re explaining a question I had for you, and you kind of explained it there, you’ve been more critical of some congressional Democrats who are critical of the Israeli government, than you are of Donald Trump who’s been elevating people who praise Hitler,” Todd said. “Does that go to this sort of transactional nature? But they’re helping Israel, and if they’re helping Israel, that’s what’s gotta come first?”

“Sorry, Chuck, I just nullified that argument and on this very program and on previous programs when I came out very strongly against that meeting with those antisemitic antics with in the case of at least one of the participants, seem to be something that is…related to personalities more than probably more than views,” he replied. “You don’t praise Hitler. How can you praise Hitler? Hitler was the greatest mass killer of all time, so anybody who praises him is wrong, anybody who meets with them and gives them legitimacy, is wrong.”

The former prime minister did not answer Todd’s next question if he would support Trump being re-elected as president, but vowed to work alongside any sitting U.S. president.

Netanyahu previously referred to Trump’s meeting with West and Fuentes as a “mistake” during a Nov. 30 podcast, but similarly assured that the former president has been a “tremendous supporter” of Israel.