Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, who increasingly found himself at odds with the Obama administration, is now being warmly embraced by President-elect Donald Trump — a man the diplomat has openly admired since he was a teenager.
Dermer, 45, resolved to become an entrepreneur after reading Trump's 1987 book, "The Art of the Deal," Politico reports. The book convinced him to attend Pennsylvania's Wharton school of business — Trump's alma mater.
During a joint speaking engagement with Trump in 2014, Dermer even joked: "Mr. Trump, the truth is I wanted to be your apprentice," the website reports.
According to Politico, Dermer had been disliked by Obama officials since arriving in Washington in September 2013. One senior administration official described his tenure as "an abject failure," Politico notes.
At one point, the administration even had-seriously considered revoking his diplomatic credential and sending him back to Israel.
Dermer has been highly critical of President Barack Obama's decision to abstain from last month's United Nation's resolution condemning Israel over settlements in the West Bank.
But Dermer is now set to "become a VIP in Trump's West Wing," and "can now practice the art of the deal with the man who taught it to him," Politico reports.
"Ambassador Dermer is a smart, thoughtful, passionate diplomat whose advice and counsel will be respected by the new Administration. Politico quotes Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Dermer, after meeting with Trump following the presidential election, called the president-elect a "true friend of Israel." He has backed Trump's choice of David Friedman for U.S. ambassador to Israel and has a good relationship with Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
"He likely is to become much more influential," Politico quotes Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "Now that he will be interacting with a more friendly White House, which doesn't spend its waking moments wondering how to undermine him and his government."
Meanwhile, The Hill reports Dermer has already announced his country will share evidence with Trump that the Obama administration was behind the controversial U.N. resolution.
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