President Donald Trump spoke out against the recent rise in anti-Semitic threats in the U.S. while speaking at the National Museum of African American History & Culture, in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, February 21.
“This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms,” Trump, whose daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism for husband Jared Kushner, declared. “The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”
The 70-year-old’s comments come one day after 11 bomb threats were called into Jewish community centers across seven states. The hoax marks the fourth time some of those centers received similar prank calls. Additionally, more than 100 headstones were overturned or damaged at a Jewish cemetery in Missouri on Monday, February 20.
“Anti-Semitism is horrible. And it’s gonna stop and it has to stop,” the commander in chief added to NBC News. “Whether it’s anti-Semitism or racism or any — anything you wanna think about having to do with the divide. Anti-Semitism is, likewise, it’s just terrible.”
Trump also addressed his divisive travel ban, which was blocked and ultimately denied for reinstatement by a federal appeals panel earlier this month. “We have to have a safe country,” he said. “We have to let people come in that are going to love the country. This is about love. This building is about love. And we have to have people come in that are going to love the country, not people that are gonna harm the country.”
Journalists and celebrities alike accused Trump of flip-flopping on his stance regarding anti-Semitism, and found his statements about Jews and the travel ban to be directly at odds.
“I can’t welcome Trump’s overdue condemnation of anti-Semitism on the same day he outlines rules for vastly expanding racist deportations,” actor and comedian Michael Ian Black wrote on Twitter.
Writer and producer Gary Janetti even blamed the billionaire for the recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks: “Trump denounces recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks. Which he caused.”
See more reactions to Trump’s latest statements below:
Trump’s been President 31 days. He’s spent 6 of those playing golf. So this shitstorm coulda been 20% worse if he was working harder.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) February 21, 2017
Trump hates anti-semitism almost as much as he loves surrounding himself with anti-semites.
— Frank Conniff (@FrankConniff) February 21, 2017
I’m remembering when you bullied the Jewish reporter, told him to ‘Sit Down’ as I listen to you here Donald. https://t.co/jA4CHglmUZ
— Ewan McGregor (@mcgregor_ewan) February 21, 2017
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) February 21, 2017
Since Trump finally said anti-Semitism is bad, please don’t notice that his new deportation rules resemble the purge of Jews from Germany.
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) February 21, 2017
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