- President Donald Trump reportedly said Jews “are there for themselves” and “stick together” after a phone call with Jewish lawmakers.
- The president privately released the comments to senior officials in his administration, according to a Washington Post report.
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President Donald Trump has reportedly suggested that Jews have loyalty to their religion above other interests, repeating an accusation that has long been used to fuel anti-Semitism.
Jews “are only there for themselves” and “stick together,”
More than two dozen current and former Trump administration officials spoke to the Post about the president’s views on race and described racist remarks he made while in office.
The president’s characterization of Jews came after talking on the phone with Jewish lawmakers, officials said.
Trump’s comments join a list of similar statements he has made about Jews in the past, including just last week on a conference call with American Jews when he said “we love your country,” referring to Israel.
He also told an audience of American Jews that Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is “your prime minister” and called the Jewish Democrats “disloyal”.
The idea that Jews maintain greater loyalty to their religion than their own country, otherwise known as “double loyalty”, is widely held to be anti-Semitic.
Many American Jews have condemned Trump’s insinuations and pointed to the history of violence and persecution Jews faced as evidence of what such rhetoric can lead to.
The Washington Post also reported on clashes between Trump and some of his senior officials for his comments following the infamous “Unite the Right” rally that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. Hundreds of neo-Nazis and supremacists Whites broke into college town and were soon greeted by counter-protesters, leading to violence that resulted in many injuries and one person dead.
Trump later said there were “good people on both sides”. Gary Cohn, the White House economic adviser at the time, reportedly had an intense exchange with Trump following the statement.
“Not only did you say it, you kept doubling down,” Cohn said, according to The Post. “And if you want, I’ll take the transcripts.”
John Kelly, then White House chief of staff, also allegedly criticized Trump at the time.
“You have to solve this problem,” he said. “You were supporting the white supremacists. You have to go back and correct this.”