Donald Trump accused more than 70% of Jewish people in the U.S. of being either ignorant or “disloyal,” then followed it up by bragging about praise from a conspiracy theorist.
In yet another attack on Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, Trump said Tuesday that “Where have [Democrats] gone where they are defending these two people over the state of Israel? And I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” This was a bizarre twist on the ugly accusations of dual loyalty that have long been directed at American Jews, usually a claim that Jewish people are more loyal to Israel than to the U.S. It’s one more instance of Trump deploying white supremacist tropes, and as J Street’s Logan Bayroff responded, “It is dangerous and shameful for President Trump to attack the large majority of the American Jewish community as unintelligent and ‘disloyal.’ But it is no surprise that the president’s racist, disingenuous attacks on progressive women of color in Congress have now transitioned into smears against Jews.”
In 2018, 79% of Jewish people voted for Democrats and in 2016, 71% voted for Clinton. So when Trump says that “any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” he is talking about the vast majority.
Wednesday morning, Trump followed it up with a series of tweets thanking Wayne Allyn Root for praising him, quoting Root as having said that “President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world…and the Jewish people in Israel love him… ….like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God…But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense!”
Like he’s the King of Israel. Like he is the second coming of God. Trump heard someone say that and instead of rolling his eyes, he tweeted it like these rantings were something we all needed to hear. And who’s Wayne Allyn Root? He’s a conspiracy theorist who, like Trump, spent the Obama years as a birther. He pushed Seth Rich conspiracy theories. He said that the Las Vegas mass shooting, which turned out to have been committed by non-Muslim white guy Stephen Paddock, was “Clearly Coordinated Muslim Terror attack.” So at least we have a clear guide on how reliable Root’s assessment of Trump is.
This attack on Jews will go down in the annals of the worst, most bigoted things Trump has said—not that it’s a short list—and he’s not backing off.