Jerusalem: An Israeli mayor said today he taught Donald Trump how to win elections, despite never having met him.
“It is a fact that Trump learned from me, he learned everything from me,” Ali Salam, the Muslim mayor of the largely Arab-Israeli city of Nazareth in northern Israel, told local radio.
One of his claims seemed to be that after victory Trump told supporters “I love you, I love you, I love you,” a phrase Salam says he himself used before.
“That’s what I did when I won,” he said.
Salam did not claim to have ever met Trump or provide evidence the president-elect knew he existed, but said that the 2014 battle for the Nazareth municipality had been ferocious like the US election.
The two men shared a lot of personality traits, he added.
“Like me he is a businessman, who pursued his career and ignored anyone who stood in his way to get to the top.”
“He does not take anyone into account when someone accused him of harassing women.”
The interview, conducted on Arabic-language radio, was widely shared between somewhat disbelieving locals.
Salam, who has stirred controversy in the past, met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January.
Asked if Trump and Salam could perhaps have had similar ideas without coordination, the mayor said “this is no coincidence”.