President Trump on Tuesday said, “Jewish people that vote for a Democrat” show a “lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
“I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” President Trump spoke with reporters during an Oval Office meeting with the president of Romania.
The president made the comment as he accused two Democratic congresswomen Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan who promote anti-Semitic legislation in the American Congress and hate Israel and Jewish people.
The president complained that Democrats should join him to condemn them.
“Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they’re defending these two people over the State of Israel?” the president said.
Some Jewish group criticized the president for his comments.
“This is yet another example of Donald Trump continuing to weaponize and politicize anti-Semitism. At a time when anti-Semitic incidents have increased—due to the president’s emboldening of white nationalism—Trump is repeating an anti-Semitic trope,” said Halie Soifer, the Jewish Democratic Council of America’s executive director.
But the Republican Jewish Coalition defended Trump, arguing that the president was speaking about people being disloyal to themselves rather than to Israel.
“President Trump is right, it shows a great deal of disloyalty to oneself to defend a party that protects/emboldens people that hate you for your religion,” the group said in a tweet. “The @GOP, when rarely confronted w/anti-Semitism of elected members always acts swiftly and decisively to punish and remove.”
President Trump is right, it shows a great deal of disloyalty to oneself to defend a party that protects/emboldens people that hate you for your religion. The @GOP, when rarely confronted w/anti-Semitism of elected members always acts swiftly and decisively to punish and remove. https://t.co/mEBgd84qkf
— RJC (@RJC) August 20, 2019
Earlier, President Trump suggested Israel deny Omar and Tlaib entry to Israel for their anti-Semitic behavior.
Israel announced last week that it would not allow Omar and Tlaib to enter the country because of their support of “boycott, divestment, and sanctions,” or BDS, a Palestinian-led global movement that boycotts Israel.