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February 17, 2017 10:39 am

Trump Tells Orthodox Jewish Reporter to ‘Sit Down’ After Question on Antisemitism

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President Donald Trump. Photo: White House.

President Donald Trump. Photo: White House.

JNS.org – During a contentious press conference Thursday at the White House, President Donald Trump accused an Orthodox Jewish reporter of “dishonesty” and told him to “sit down,” after the reporter asked a question regarding the recent rise in antisemitism across America.

Jake Turx — an assumed name — of Ami Magazine was berated by the president after inquiring about what the White House plans to do regarding the concerning rise of antisemitism, referring to the waves of bomb threats that have hit Jewish community centers and other episodes that have plagued the community in recent weeks.

Turx had responded to Trump’s request for a “friendly” question, and opened by making clear that he was not “accus[ing] [Trump] or anyone on your staff of being antisemitic.”

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“We understand that you have Jewish grandchildren, you are their Zayde,” Turx said, using the Yiddish term for grandfather, which Trump appeared to understand.

But, when Turx continued with his question about the increase in antisemitic incidents, Trump interrupted him, saying he had asked “a very insulting question.”

“See, he said he was going to ask a very simple, easy question, and it’s not…Not a simple question. Not a fair question,” Trump said.

The president then called himself “the least antisemitic person that you have ever seen in your entire life” and also the “least racist person.”

Trump also cited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments a day earlier about how the president has long been a strong supporter of the Jewish people.

Jonathan Greenblatt, national director of the Anti-Defamation League called the exchange “honestly mind-boggling,” while American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris called the incident “both worrisome and puzzling.”

“We need the help of the government to combat this cancer, which violates every value for which our nation stands. That’s why the questions are being asked at press conferences, and not in order to cast aspersions on [Trump’s] administration,” Harris said.

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