Friday, February 17, 2017

Jewish Groups Criticize Trump's Response To Questions About Anti-Semitism

JTA reports that the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League have issued statements criticizing President Donald Trump's response at his news conference yesterday to a question from reporter Jake Turx of Ami Magazine regarding anti-Semitism.  Here is a transcript of much of the exchange taken from the White House's full transcript of the news conference:
Q    ... [W]hat we are concerned about, and what we haven’t really heard be addressed is an uptick in anti-Semitism and how the government is planning to take care of it.  There have been reports out that 48 bomb threats have been made against Jewish centers all across the country in the last couple of weeks.  There are people who are committing anti-Semitic acts or threatening to --
THE PRESIDENT:  You see, he said he was going to ask a very simple, easy question.  And it’s not.  It’s not.  Not a simple question, not a fair question.  Okay, sit down.  I understand the rest of your question.
So here’s the story, folks.  Number one, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life.  Number two, racism -- the least racist person.  In fact, we did very well relative to other people running as a Republican....
... See, he lied about -- he was going to get up and ask a very straight, simple question.  So you know, welcome to the world of the media.  But let me just tell you something -- that I hate the charge.  I find it repulsive.  I hate even the question because people that know me -- and you heard the Prime Minister, you heard Netanyahu yesterday -- did you hear him, Bibi?  He said, I’ve known Donald Trump for a long time, and then he said, forget it.
So you should take that, instead of having to get up and ask a very insulting question like that.
The AJC's statement also criticized Trump's non-responsiveness to a similar question at his news conference (full transcript) on Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.