Trump doubles down on antisemitic comments accusing Jewish people of being 'disloyal to Israel'

President previously quoted a right-wing radio host who called him the 'King of Israel'

Lily Puckett
Wednesday 21 August 2019 18:12 BST
Trump says Democrat voters are 'disloyal to Israel'

Donald Trump has clarified that his earlier comment that Jewish people who vote Democrat are showing “great disloyalty” by saying they are being disloyal to Israel.

At an impromptu press conference at the White House he doubled down on the long-established antisemitic trope of Jewish people having split loyalties between the country of which they are citizens and the state of Israel.

The president also retweeted a right-wing radio host who called him the “King of Israel” and "like the second coming of God", adding "Wow".

It’s the latest in a series of antisemitic statements the president has continued to make following a highly publicised battle with congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, which culminated in Israel denying them permission to take part in a planned visit.

Before leaving for a trip to Kentucky, the president said: “You’re being very disloyal to Jewish people and you’re being very disloyal to Israel, and only weak people would agree with that. If you vote for a Democrat, you’re being disloyal to Israel and the Jewish people.”

“No president has ever done anywhere close to what I’ve done,” he added, referring to his decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to recognise Israeli ownership of the disputed Golan Heights.

He again maintained that the problem with his comments stemmed from the congresswomen’s planned trip, targeting representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was not involved in the trip, as well as representative Tlaib in particular.

“She had a plan to greatly embarrass Israel by going to see her grandmother,” he said of representative Ms Tlaib, whose grandmother is Palestinian.

Ms Tlaib and Ms Omar were barred last week from visiting Israel for an official trip over their support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement after urging from Mr Trump, who has been targeting the minority congresswomen since they were elected.

Israel later agreed to a humanitarian visit for Ms Tlaib to visit her grandmother, who lives in the occupied West Bank. But she declined, saying her grandmother had ultimately urged her not to come under what they considered to be humiliating circumstances.

“She had a plan to greatly embarrass Israel by going to see her grandmother,” Mr Trump said today. He also implied that she was lying about going to see her in the first place.

Later, after praising Vladimir Putin for “outsmarting” Barack Obama while the former president was in office, Mr Trump told reporters “I am the least racist person ever to serve in office.”

In the same press conference, the president said that background checks for gun owners would lead to people having “their guns taken away”, and called himself “the chosen one” with regards to a establishing a trade deal with China, which he maintained that he did not want to do.

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