White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday that Trump's comments were 'anti-Semitic,' adding: 'But let's be clear - for years now, Donald Trump has aligned with extremist and anti-Semitic figures'
The White House on Monday condemned former President Donald Trump for telling American Jews to be 'more appreciative' of his administration's work in Israel 'before it's too late.'
Trumpstirred outrage with the statement posted to his Truth Social app on Sunday morning, where the ex-president also claimed he was so popular in Israel that he could be its next prime minister.
'Donald Trump's comments were anti-Semitic, as you all know, and insulting, both to Jews and to our Israeli allies,' Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at her daily briefing. 'But let's be clear - for years now, Donald Trump has aligned with extremist and anti-Semitic figures.'
The Biden official headed off accusations of partisanship, pointing out the administration's forceful response to the shockingly racist leaked audio from Los Angeles County officials last week.
'Just like we called out our Democratic friends and colleagues last week, and we will condemn and call this out as well,' Jean-Pierre said.'So we need to root out anti-Semitism everywhere it rears its ugly head. We need to call this out.'
'With respect to Israel, our relationship is ironclad. And it's rooted in shared values and interests.'
In a final shot at the ex-president, she added: 'Donald Trump clearly doesn't understand that either.'
The message, posted on his Truth Social app, immediately made the rounds on Twitter where it was condemned through the morning. Trump was accused of making a veiled threat against American Jews during a period where extremist violence is already becoming more prevalent.
It comes soon after a famous ally of his, rapper Ye who was previously known as Kanye West, was removed from Instagram and Twitterfor a string of anti-Semitic comments.
Jean-Pierre declined to weigh in when asked about Ye's recent bid to buy right-wing social media platform Parler, which is run by the husband of conservative activist Candace Owens, but circled back to criticize the comments that got him kicked off of every other mainstream social media site.
'As you know, when it comes to these types of purchases, or agreements, I can't speak to that. So that's not something - the actual agreement or interaction, I can't speak to that,' she said.
'But what I can speak to is hateful rhetoric, what I can speak to is insulting rhetoric...What I can speak to is anti-Semitism, which is hateful, it is dangerous.
'And we are going to continue to condemn that type of language because at the end of the day, it is disgusting. And it is there is no room absolutely no room, no place in our political discourse, to be having that type of really vile conversation or comments being made.'
Trump said on Sunday morning, 'No President has done more for Israel than I have. Somewhat surprisingly, however, our wonderful Evangelicals are far more appreciative of this than the people of the Jewish faith, especially those living in the U.S.'
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'Those living in Israel, though, are a different story - Highest approval rating in the World, could easily be P.M.!' he claimed.
'U.S. Jews have to get their act together and appreciate what they have in Israel - Before it is too late!'
It's worth noting that Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner is a devout Jew. Trump's daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism before marrying Kushner.
The Anti-Defamation League accused Trump of 'Jewsplaining' in a statement to DailyMail.com.
Donald Trump has previously been accused of spouting anti-Semitism, but his most recent comments come against the backdrop of rising threats to vulnerable groups across the country
Trump told American Jews to 'appreciate what they have in Israel' in his Sunday morning post
'We don't need the former president, who curries favor with extremists and antisemites, to lecture us about the US-Israel relationship,'ADL CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt said.
'It is not about a quid pro quo; it rests on shared values and security interests. This "Jewsplaining" is insulting and disgusting.'
Critics on Twitter also immediately went after the alarming remarks.
Aviva Klompas, co-founder of the group Boundless Israel, accused Trump of threatening US Jews in his post.
'And here’s Trump adding fuel to the antisemitic dumpster fire by demanding American Jews show loyalty to him because of Israel. And he tops it all off with a veiled threat,' Klompas wrote.
Lawyer David Leopold, who served on the Biden-Harris transition team, said: 'A lot of antisemitism to unpack here. But one thing is clear; Trump has no problem threatening American Jews.'
'[H]ow extraordinary to hear an anti-Semitic fascist billionaire begging for support from Jews,' journalist Craig Unger wrote on the platform.
Lawyer Jennifer Taub wrote: 'Donald Jacka** Trump just threatened Jewish people in America.'
Trump has made similar religiously divisive remarks, including in 2019 when he called American Jewish voters who supported Democrats 'disloyal.'
He was also under fire in December 2021 when told Israeli-based journalist Barak Ravid for his book that it was 'dangerous' that more American Jews on the left did not support Israel - again throwing in the 'Evangelical' comparison.
Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner (pictured, far left, with Trump in Israel) is a devout Jew
Trump's daughter Ivanka, who converted to Judaism to marry Kushner, is seen at the unveiling of the US's embassy in Jerusalem
They also have a close relationship with Israel's former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
'It’s a very dangerous thing that’s happening,' Trump said, according to Ravid.
'There’s people in this country that are Jewish and no longer love Israel. I’ll tell you, the evangelical Christians love Israel more than the Jews in this country.'
The comments earned backlash from civil rights groups like the Anti-Defamation League.
American Jews have historically been a pro-Democrat voting bloc, a trend that did not change in the 2020 presidential race.
During his White House tenure, Trump had been a close ally of Israel's then-conservative government led by Benjamin Netanyahu.
His upending of decades of US policy in the fragile region - including moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem - earned praise from conservative Jews at home and abroad.
Trump also shared a famously close relationship with Netanyahu himself, with both right-wing leaders often heaping public praise on the other.
In a show of appreciation for his support, Netanyahu named one of Israel's controversial planned settlements after Trump.
Trump made several pro-Israel moves while in office that were lauded by conservative Jews at home and abroad, including pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Deal (pictured: Trump visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem in May 2017)
But Trump turned against his friend when the prime minister phoned President Joe Biden after he won the 2020 election.
'The first person that congratulated [Biden] was Bibi Netanyahu, the man that I did more for than any other person I dealt with,' Trump told journalist Barak Ravid for his book.
'Bibi could have stayed quiet. He has made a terrible mistake,' Trump apparently said.
And while not so much a new sentiment, Trump's Sunday morning tirade comes against the backdrop of a troubling rise in threats and attacks targeting vulnerable groups.
A new wave of anti-Semitism in America has prompted synagogues and other Jewish community centers to be on high alert across the country.
Rapper Ye, tweeted last week that he would go 'death con 3' on Jewish people, which got him removed off the site.
Some conservative pundits and members of the fringe-right leapt to his defense, claiming he was censored for exercising his free speech.
It emerged afterwards that an interview he did around the same time with Fox News' Tucker Carlson was edited to remove wild claims like that Planned Parenthood was created to 'control the Jew populations' with eugenics.
West continued his return to Twitter with a disturbing tweet where he suggested he would be 'going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE' while bringing back his 'White Lives Matter' T-shirt