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'I'm the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen'

Towards the end of a press conference on Thursday lasting almost 90 minutes, President Donald Trump took a question from a Jewish reporter about antisemitism, only to interrupt him, call him a liar, and tell him to sit down. "In fact, we did very well relative to other people running as a Republican". "We were not supposed to crack 220. So, you know, welcome to the world of the media".

A few moments later, Trump said that "We are going to do everything within our power to stop long simmering racism and every other thing that's going on". And finally, in what has become his signature "how could I be anti-Semitic" rebuttal, he pointed out his daughter Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner - both Orthodox Jews - who were seated in the front row. Don't they know he scored 306 electoral votes, the "biggest win since Ronald Reagan" if you don't count five of the seven elections that came in between? Trump's intent is clear: I care deeply about the Jewish people and loathe anti-Semitism for lots of reasons but one big one is because it hits so close to home for me.

The Trump administration drew criticism from Jewish groups late last month when it released a statement to memorialise victims of the Holocaust, but failed to mention Jews - 6 million of whom were killed by the Nazis.

It's possible that Trump interpreted the second half of the question as a grave personal accusation even in light of Turx's caveat, and that in the president's mind, the mere suggestion of his administration's inadequacy in responding to anti-Semitism was an unacceptable assault on his character. The Anti-Defamation League wasn't satisfied with Trump's response today, tweeting, "Troubling that @POTUS failed to condemn real issue of anti-Semitism in USA today". I think that you're going to see a lot different United States of America over the next three, four, or eight years. "I hate even the question", Trump continued, before telling the reporter he had just asked "a very insulting question". And it was something that was very important to me.

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That response angered many Jewish groups and representatives.

As far as Jewish people, [I have] so many friends, a daughter who happens to be here right now, a son-in-law, and three handsome grandchildren.

"See, it just shows you about the press, but that's the way the press is". "You're going to see a lot of love", he added, somewhat ambiguously. You're gonna see a lot of love.



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