Facing criticism for his previous response, President Donald Trump on Tuesday denounced a recent wave of anti-Semitic crimes.
In an interview with NBC, the president offered a more forceful condemnation of recent anti-Semitic provocations in the US, including threats to Jewish Community Centres and the extensive vandalism of Jewish graves.
Speaking at the newly-opened Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on Tuesday, the president reiterated his denunciation.
“Anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish communities and our Jewish Community Centres are horrible, and are painful,” Trump said, adding that “it is going to stop.”
Over the past several weeks, Trump was far less forceful.
In a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, Trump was asked about a rise in anti-Semitic crimes following his election. The president responded by boasting about the size of his electoral college victory, and acknowledging that his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner were Jewish.
“I just want to say that we are very honored by the victory that we had — 316 electoral college votes,” he said at the time. “We were not supposed to crack 220. You know that, right? There was no way to 221, but then they said there’s no way to 270. And there’s tremendous enthusiasm out there.”
Asked a similar question on Thursday at a press conference, he chastised the reporter, asking him to “sit down” because the the question was “not a simple question, not a fair question.”
“I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life. No. 2, racism, the least racist person,” Trump said, before summarizing his Electoral College victory in November.
Critics have blasted chief White House strategist Steve Bannon’s former stewardship of Breitbart, which has attracted some anti-Semitic readers. And last month, the White House defended an official Holocaust remembrance press release that did not directly mentions Jews.
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