President Donald Trump has said Jews who vote for Democrats are either ignorant or disloyal after two U.S. congresswomen were blocked from entering Israel because they support a boycott of the country over its treatment of Palestinians.
“Any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” Trump said on Tuesday during an Oval Office meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
The president’s comments came in response to a question about two freshmen Democratic representatives — Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar — who he said were plotting a “propaganda tour” of Israel and the West Bank.
Trump had encouraged Israel not to let them into the country, a move that was ultimately criticized in Washington by Democrats and Republicans alike. Trump has called Tlaib and Omar the “face” of the Democratic Party and has seized on their criticism of Israel to attract Jewish voters.
“Five years ago, the concept of even talking about this, even three years ago, of cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people. I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation. Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they’re defending these two people over the state of Israel?” Trump said, referring to Tlaib and Omar’s suggestion that U.S. aid to Israel should be slashed.