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Trump promises 'a lot of love' to counter anti-Semitism

17 February 2017

In response to a question Thursday about threats to Jewish centers nationwide, President Donald Trump called a Jewish reporter a liar, told him to sit down and later said anti-Semitism was coming from "the other side".

"Well, I just want to say that we are, you know, very honored by the victory that we had: 306 Electoral College votes", Trump said. No. 2, racism. The least racist person. "[Turx] said he was going to ask a straightforward question", Trump harumphed.

"I mean, the President went out of his way to recognise the Holocaust and the suffering that went through it and the people that were affected by it and the loss of life and to make sure that America never forgets what so many people went through, whether they were Jews or Gypsies, gays, disability, priests", he said. "We are going to do everything within our power to stop long-simmering racism and every other thing that's going on, because a lot of bad things have been taking place over a long period of time", he stated. "You see, he said he was going to ask a simple, easy question". Antisemitism shouldn't concern you only if you have personal ties to someone who is Jewish, just as Islamophobia shouldn't concern only those who know Muslims, and women's rights shouldn't only concern those who have sisters, wives, or daughters. And I, you know, it was something that was very important to me. As Vox's Yochi Dreazen later wrote, "Donald Trump is openly trafficking in the types of anti-Semitic slurs that have been used to justify the hatred of Jews for decades".

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., chided Trump on Twitter for saying Turx's question was not "fair".

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In an appearance with Netanyahu at the White House Wednesday, Trump answered a question about anti-Semitism by talking about his electoral victory and mentioning his daughter, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, who are Jewish. "You're going to see a lot of love", he concluded.

A second reporter followed up, pointing out to Trump that the question was "not about your personality or beliefs". "This is highly regretful and I'm going to seek clarification".

Below is the question and answer from the news conference at the White House, with my annotations. The Anti-Defamation League wasn't satisfied with Trump's response today, tweeting, "Troubling that @POTUS failed to condemn real issue of anti-Semitism in United States today".