A new report claims that President Donald Trump has privately accused American Jews of being only in it for themselves.
Both current and former White House officials tell the Washington Post that Trump one time disparaged American Jews after getting off a phone call with Jewish lawmakers.
According to the Post’s sources, the president “muttered that Jews ‘are only in it for themselves’ and ‘stick together’ in an ethnic allegiance that exceeds other loyalties.”
Additionally, these sources say that Trump “has maintained that Black Americans have mainly themselves to blame in their struggle for equality, hindered more by lack of initiative than societal impediments,” while also telling aides that he “could never understand” why first lady Melania Trump would ever want to visit Africa.
A former White House official tells the Post that, when challenged by aides on his comments, Trump would say, “No one loves Black people more than me.”
Another former official said that their best defense of Trump is to say that he may not be an overt white supremacist.
“Woodrow Wilson was outwardly a white supremacist,” the former official said. “I don’t think Trump is as bad as Wilson. But he might be.”
Carol Anderson, a professor of African American Studies at Emory University, tells the Post that Trump’s racist rhetoric reminds her most of former President Andrew Johnson, who was frequently accused of having sympathy for the Confederacy during his tenure.
“Johnson made it clear that he was really the president of a few people, not the American people,” Anderson said. “And Trump has done the same.”
Last year, Trump thanked a conspiracy theorist for saying Jews in Israel love the president “like he’s the King of Israel” and doubled down on his efforts to pit American Jews against one another, accusing Jewish voters of disloyalty if they voted for Democrats.
It was the second day in a row that Trump had addressed Jews and loyalty, a theme evoking an anti-Semitic trope that Jews have a “dual loyalty” and are often more loyal to Israel than to their own countries.
“If you want to vote Democrat, you are being very disloyal to Jewish people and very disloyal to Israel,” Mr. Trump said at the White House.