Biden and Netanyahu
Biden and NetanyahuAvi Ohayon/GPO

Politico reported on Sunday that US President Joe Biden is deeply suspicious of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and privately has called the prime minister a “bad f***ing guy,” people who have talked to the president said.

According to the report, Biden fears that Netanyahu is eager to drag the US into a wider war in the Middle East, a conflict that would ensure American weapons keep flowing to the region, troops soon follow and international pressure on him to agree to a Gaza ceasefire and his domestic political difficulties both dissipate.

Biden spokesperson Andrew Bates said in response, “The president did not say that, nor would he.”

He added that the two leaders have “a decades-long relationship that is respectful in public and in private.”

The quote attributed to Biden came as part of a report about the support for Biden among liberal voters amid concerns by Democrats their coalition unraveling over Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby last week commented in an interview with Israel’s Channel 12 News on the tensions between Netanyahu and Biden over their disagreements about how to handle the day after the war in Gaza.

“Netanyahu and Biden have known each other a long, long time. And they didn't always agree on everything. And I don't think anybody should expect that they're going to agree on everything going forward. But because they have the kind of relationship where they can be frank and honest,” Kirby clarified.

NBC News reported several weeks ago that the Biden administration is laying the groundwork with other Israeli leaders in anticipation of a post-Netanyahu government.

The report said that the Biden administration and Netanyahu’s divisions over Israel’s handling of the war with Hamas, as well as Netanyahu’s refusal to consider US proposals for a post-war Gaza, have only become more pronounced since Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s most recent visit to Israel.

Three senior US officials quoted in the report said that the Biden administration is looking past Netanyahu to try to achieve its goals in the region. The officials told NBC News that Netanyahu “will not be there forever.”