Trump names 'AOC and her crowd' a bunch of antisemites, Israel haters

A Twitter feud between Trump and Democrats erupts as conversation turns to Israel and antisemitism.

US President Donald Trump (left), called Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (bottom right) and 'her crowd,' Rashida Tlaib (middle) and Ilhan Omar (top) Communists, Israel haters and antisemites (photo credit: REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump (left), called Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (bottom right) and 'her crowd,' Rashida Tlaib (middle) and Ilhan Omar (top) Communists, Israel haters and antisemites
(photo credit: REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump has dragged Israel into his attack on high-profile Democratic freshman congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, broadening his offensive to swipe at the entire Democratic Party by paraphrasing statements Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham made on Fox News earlier in the day.
“We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of Communists, they hate Israel, they hate our own country,” Trump tweeted on Monday. “They’re calling the guards along our Border (the Border Patrol Agents) Concentration Camp Guards, they accuse people who support Israel as doing it for the Benjamin’s.”
Then he continued: "They are Anti-Semitic, they are Anti-America, we don’t need to know anything about them personally, talk about their policies. I think they are American citizens who are duly elected that are running on an agenda that is disgusting, that the American people will reject......"
Later on Monday, the president defended his comments during the “Made in America Day” at the White House. “If you are not happy, you can leave,” he said. “If you hate our country, you can leave. Some people thought it’s controversial; many people love it.”
Speaking of Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, Trump said: “They are very unhappy; I watch them, and all they do is complain. So, if you’re not happy, you can leave. I am sure many people will not miss them.”
He said that Omar “left Somalia, a failed country,” and added that “she hates Israel, hates Jews.”
“I see them complaining constantly,” he continued. “If they want to leave that’s fine, and if they want to stay, it’s fine.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrote a letter to her Democrat peers, saying that a resolution condemning Trump’s rhetoric is under way.
“This weekend the president went beyond his own low standards using disgraceful language about members of Congress,” she wrote. “This morning, the president doubled down on his attacks on our four colleagues, suggesting they apologize to him. Let me be clear, our caucus will continue to forcefully respond to these disgusting attacks.
“The House cannot allow the president’s characterization of immigrants to our country to stand,” she continued. “Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the president’s xenophobic tweets. Please join us in supporting a forthcoming resolution sponsored by Congressman Tom Malinowski, who was born abroad, and Congressman Jamie Raskin, along with other Democratic Members born abroad.”
Ocasio-Cortez responded on Twitter: “Until Republican officials denounce yesterday’s explicitly racist statements, which should be easy, we sadly have no choice but to assume they condone it. It is extremely disturbing that the entire GOP caucus is silent. Is this their agenda?”
Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton commented: “Let’s not forget why Trump is attacking Democratic women of color in the first place: They brought attention to the inhumane conditions they saw at this administration’s detention camps.”
The president also received some rare criticism from his own party. Rep. Pete Olson tweeted: “I urge our president immediately disavow his comments.”
Another Republican congressman, Fred Upton, was blunter: “Frankly, I’m appalled by the president’s tweets. There’s no excuse. Inflammatory rhetoric from both sides of the aisle that is used to divide us just isn’t right. It’s not helpful. We have too many challenges facing us that we ought to be working on together – immigration, the debt ceiling, the border crisis. The president’s tweets were flat out wrong and uncalled for, and I would encourage my colleagues from both parties to stop talking so much and start governing more.”
Former justice minister Yossi Beilin (Meretz) responded that “Democrats are, historically, very pro-Israel, although they don’t think that it is contradictory to also be pro-Palestinian. [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s identification with the Republican Party and with Trump made Israel a branch of that party and an adversary of the Democrats.” He added that “hopefully, that will change very soon, a result of the Israeli election.”
MK Yair Lapid (Blue and White) said Monday that “Israel has to ensure it has a bipartisan status in the United States. We share a deep set of values and vital national security interests with the United States that are above and beyond the domestic politics of either country. When Blue and White forms the next government, we look forward to working with American leaders from across the political spectrum to deepen and strengthen the US-Israel relationship.”
Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.