U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks to U.S. troops in an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq December 26, 2018. .
(photo credit: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST)
US President Donald Trump doubled down Tuesday on his claim that the Democratic Party is hostile to Jews.
Quoting the founder of a new Republican-aligned group called “Jexodus” that is hoping to wrestle Jewish votes away from the Democrats, Trump tweeted that “Jewish people are leaving the Democratic Party.”
“We saw a lot of anti-Israel policies start under the Obama administration, and it got worsts & worse,” the quote, attributed to Elizabeth Pipko, continues. “There is antisemitism in the Democratic Party. They don’t care about Israel or the Jewish people.”
“Jexodus” was launched last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference by Jeff Ballabon, a Republican strategist who advised the Trump presidential campaign. Pipko, 23, is a former Trump campaign staffer.
In a news release announcing its launch, Jexodus wrote, “We are proud Jewish Millennials tired of living in bondage to leftist politics. We reject the hypocrisy, anti-Americanism, and anti-Semitism of the rising far-left. Progressives, Democrats, and far too many old-school Jewish organizations take our support for granted. After all, we’re Jewish, and Jews vote for Democrats.”
Last week, Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives grappled with how to respond to a series of remarks from caucus member Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota widely interpreted as antisemitic. Trump took advantage of the moment and characterized the entire party as “anti-Jewish” in a comment to reporters.
House Democrats split on whether to singularly condemn Omar, who questioned the patriotism of Americans supportive of Israel, or to condemn antisemitism as well as other forms of hate. They chose the latter, drawing criticism from conservatives as well as liberal Jews that they had watered down the resolution.
Axios reported on Monday that Trump had told a private group that the Democratic Party “hates Jews.” His press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, did not refute the report in a rare press briefing held later that day.
JTA contributed to this report.
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