PRESIDENT Donald Trump has claimed that America’s Democratic Party has become “anti-Jewish” and “anti-Israel”.
“Democrats hate Jewish people,” he told a room filled with Republican voters.
And he said he could not understand how any Jewish person could vote for a Democrat these days.
Trump added that if he could run for prime minister of Israel, he would be polling at 98 per cent.
The president made the remarks at at his Mar-a-Largo club in Florida, where the audience was required to place their mobile phones in magnetised pouches to prevent leaks.
But in a samage-limitation exercise later, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders repeatedly refused to say whether he really thinks Democrats “hate” Jewish people.
“The president has been an unwavering and committed ally to Israel and the Jewish people,” she told reporters on Monday.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — a Democrat from New York — hit back at Trump, saying: “For the president, who when neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville in front of a synagogue and said ‘burn it down’ and he said ‘both sides’ are to blame, this is a new divisive low.”
Schumer, who is Jewish, added: “His comments show the president is only interested in playing the politics of division and not in fighting antisemitism.
“Mr President, you have redefined chutzpa.”
Trump’s controversial comments came on the heels of a vote in the House of Representatives last week on a resolution broadly condemning bigotry rather than specifically condemning antisemitism.
That resolution was initially planned following comments by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar that inflamed many Jewish American organisations and were criticised as being antisemitic.
“I thought the vote by the House was disgraceful,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House for Florida. “I thought that vote was a disgrace, and so does everybody else.”
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