Ultra-Orthodox Jewish reporter defends Trump's response to anti-Semitism claims


In a 77-minute press conference Thursday, President Donald Trump named his new nominee for labor secretary, claimed to be the "least anti-Semitic person" and asked an African-American journalist to set up a meeting for him with the Congressional Black Caucus.

US President Donald Trump laughs with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a joint news conference at the White House, February 15, 2017.

Netanyahu appeared to be referring not exclusively to the U.S. president, as he suggested that "to allude to him or his people" as harboring this sentiment was misguided. When Turx attempted to interject, Trump told him to "quiet, quiet", and said that "I hate the charge [of anti-Semitism]".

"We were not supposed to crack 220", he continued as Netanyahu looked on. "So, you know, welcome to the world of the media". "They hear it as a dog whistle, that what they're doing is OK", Greenblatt says. "And there's tremendous enthusiasm out there". No", Trump said. "But you have some of those signs, and some of that anger is caused by the other side.

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That response angered many Jewish groups and representatives. It requires no talent, planning, or effort; all Trump needed to do was say, "I condemn anti-Semitism and all anti-Semitic hate crimes". "Three-hundred six Electoral College votes". "We are going to stop crime in this country".

Donald Trump's hateful rhetoric has mired his administration in scandal and legal turmoil. Intentional or not, this emboldens anti-Semites.

Trump throughout his campaign faced accusations of, at the very least, failing to adequately quell anti-Semitism among some of his supporters. His response is especially troubling because of his campaign's association with antisemitic tropes, his administration's embrace of individuals with deep ties to antisemitism, his decision not to include any reference to the Jewish people in his statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and his propensity for policies like the refugee ban rooted in anti-Muslim bigotry and racism.

In July 2016, Trump tweeted a meme that dubbed "Crooked Hillary" Clinton the "most corrupt candidate ever".

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"To those Jews who contemplate making peace with a President Donald Trump: He is the candidate of the mob, and the mob always ends up turning on the Jews", Kirchick wrote in Tablet Magazine. "Some of it, written by our opponents", Trump said.

Trump has been called out for stacking his cabinet with men questionable histories on tolerance, notably former Breitbart boss Steve Bannon.

"Troubling that @POTUS failed to condemn real issue of anti-Semitism in US today", the Anti-Defamation League tweeted. Nearly a year ago, he issued a stark warning about what Trump's election could mean for Jewish people. According to the report, there were 2.6m anti-Semitic tweets during the United States presidential election, with 70 percent of them coming from 1,600 pro-Trump accounts.

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