Netanyahu failed to win a ruling majority in an election where he highlighted close ties with Trump while campaigning, according to almost complete results published on Wednesday.
“Those results are coming in and it’s very close. Everybody knew it’s going to be very close. I said we’ll see what happens. Look, our relationship is with Israel," Trump said. "We'll see what happens".
Netanyahu has canceled his annual speech at the U.N. General Assembly next week that might have provided an opportunity for the two leaders to meet.
Earlier, Trump named Robert O'Brien, the US hostage negotiator, as his new national security adviser. "He's worked with me for quite awhile now on hostages and we have a tremendous track record on hostages," Trump said Wednesday on a tarmac in Los Angeles, hours after revealing the pick on Twitter. O'Brien, standing alongside Trump, said it was a "privilege" to be picked.
O'Brien is replacing the ousted Iran-hawk John Bolton, whose departure prompted many political analysts to speculate that Netanyahu has been left without a White House ally on Iran.
"I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the administration," the president wrote on his Twitter account last week.
Bolton's abrupt ouster came as a surprise to many in the White House and was presumed to be over the administration's approach to Iran.
One Republican familiar with the disagreements between Trump and Bolton said the adviser's opposition to a possible meeting between Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was a precipitating factor in the dismissal.