President Donald Trump took his racist attacks on Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to a whole new, anti-Semitic plane on Tuesday, accusing voters who back the congresswomen or vote Democratic of sweeping “disloyalty.”
“I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation,” Trump whined during a brief appearance with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. “Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they’re defending these two people over the state of Israel? And I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
Trump’s attempt to launder blatant islamophobia through his supposed love of Judaism was a clear anti-Semitic trope in which Jews who don’t follow a prescribed political ideology are somehow betraying an externally mandated expectation of national loyalty.
The president also didn’t clarify whether he was referring to the United States or Israel—an even more insidious trope in which Jews are expected to be loyal to Israel over any other country. (Splinter reached out to the White House for comment on Trump’s remarks, we’ll update this post if we hear back.)
Trump, for whom this is far from his first time dabbling in anti-Semitic dog whistles, has long attempted to use his supposed pro-Jewishness as a political cudgel against Democrats. Earlier this year he accused Democrats of being “anti-Jewish” despite the fact that around 71 percent of American Jews have voted Democratic in every presidential election for the past half century.