Nearly a dozen Jewish community centers reported phoned-in bomb threats on Monday, following a disturbing uptick in anti-Semitic scares and harassment in recent months. Yet President Trump — known for immediately tweeting his outrage over international Islamic attacks and threats on U.S. soil before all the facts are known— stayed silent until Tuesday morning.
“Hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individual freedom,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in response to a request by NBC News reporter Peter Alexander on Monday. “The President has made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable.”
But the president had not said such actions “are unacceptable” as of Monday night. In fact, it took until Tuesday morning for the president to respond to the wave of anti-Semitic threats at all. During remarks from the National Museum of African American History, Trump said, “Anti-Semitism is horrible, and it’s going to stop.” Trump also said he would never pass up an opportunity to denounce anti-Semitism.
“Wherever I get a chance, I do it,” Trump said.
That’s just a lie though, isn’t it, Donny? A bigly, yuuuuuuge lie. You couldn’t even be arsed to mention it on Holocaust Remembrance Day. I’d call that a chance, a yuuuuge chance, actually, to address anti-Semitism.
In a memorable exchange with Jewish reporter Jake Turx during a press conference last week, Trump interrupted Turx’s question about the wave of anti-Semitic threats, saying it was “not a fair question” and demanding that the reporter “sit down.” Trump went on to defend himself as “the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life.”
Yes, well, the Tiny Tyrant is always the best, most, or least of something or other. So, as usual, that’s saying nothing at all.
The administration has been largely silent when it comes to attacks on Jews (and Muslims) thus far. On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the White House released a presidential proclamation that omitted the words “Jewish” and “Jews.” Prominent anti-Semites like Richard Spencer and former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke endorsed Trump’s candidacy and presidency, as ThinkProgress previously reported. And his supporters have long harassed and sent death threats to Jewish reporters.
The president and other administration officials have been quick to condemn horrific incidents that do not exist, however. Trump recently suggested that something horrific had taken place in Sweden, allowing him to justify plans to restrict travel to the United States.
On Tuesday, Steve Goldstein, the executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, issued a harsh critique of Trump’s denouncement, saying that the president’s “sudden acknowledgement of Anti-Semitism is a Band-Aid on the cancer of Anti-Semitism that has infected his own Administration.”
“His statement today is a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting Anti-Semitism, yet day after day have refused to apologize and correct the record,” Goldstein said. “Make no mistake: The Anti-Semitism coming out of this Administration is the worst we have ever seen from any Administration.