Donald Trump threw his first Hanukkah party as president on Thursday night, and by all accounts, it sounds like a pretty shitty affair.
For starters, exactly zero Democratic congresspeople were invited to the event, despite the fact that 28 of the 30 Jewish House members are Democrats. Also not invited: representatives from Jewish groups who happen to disagree with Trump.
Jewish Republican congressmen Lee Zeldin and David Kustoff were, however, in attendance, hobnobbing with a who’s who of far-right Jews, including Zionist Organization of America president Mort Klein, who once proudly proclaimed President Obama a “Jew-hating anti-semite.”
One White House official dismissed charges of partisanship, telling the New York Times with a straight face: “I am not aware of the political affiliation of any of the guests, but I do know that this year was meant to be more personal than political.”
“I know for a fact there are a lot of happy people in this room,” Trump declared, adding: “Jerusalem.”
Trump then brought his grandchildren—both Jewish—to light a small menorah in front of the assembled crowd. According to participants, this may have been the only actual Hanukkah decoration at the entire party. There were, however, four large Christmas trees positioned around the room.
After the official White House event concluded, revelers moved to the Trump International Hotel, for a second reception sponsored by the Sheldon Adelson-funded Republican Jewish Coalition. There, the Times reported:
Other boldfaced names in the Trump orbit, including David A. Clarke Jr., a former sheriff of Milwaukee County, and Jill Kelley, the Tampa socialite, mingled near the bar. Several guests clutched copies of the book “Let Trump Be Trump,” by Corey Lewandowski, the president’s first campaign manager, which he had been signing earlier in the lobby.
So, to recap: terrible guests, an emphasis on Christmas decorations, and lots of awful books. President Trump may like to insist that there’s a War on Christmas happening across the United States, but from the sound of things, Hanukkah’s not doing so hot this year either.