The same weekend President Donald Trump demanded that the “squad” of progressive congresswomen apologize to Israel, he decided to retweet a notorious far-right British commentator who blamed Jewish leadership for a lethal attack on a U.S. synagogue.
One-time journalist and former U.K. “The Apprentice” contestant Katie Hopkins also touted a “final solution” for Muslims following a terror attack — using the same phrase Adolf Hitler’s Nazis employed to refer to the annihilation of Jews in Europe. The one-time Daily Mail columnist was fired from her job at a British radio station in 2017 after that comment, The Guardian reported. She has also tweeted that “Islam disgusts me” and has compared migrants to “cockroaches.”
Weeks ago, Trump retweeted Hopkins’ homage to the rise of right-wing leaders around the world. “What a time to be alive,” she gushed.
Trump retweeted a Hopkins message Saturday as proof that he didn’t encourage the incendiary “Send Her Back” chant at his North Carolina campaign rally Wednesday, referring to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). In fact, Hopkins simply posted a video of Trump waiting — and nodding — as the audience chanted. Hopkins also repeated the chant — calling it the new “Lock Her Up” — and added, “well done to #Team Trump.”
As you can see, I did nothing to lead people on, nor was I particularly happy with their chant. Just a very big and patriotic crowd. They love the USA! https://t.co/6IVKEffNnq— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2019
Trump also retweeted a video message from Hopkins calling Trump “brilliant” for going after the young Democratic congresswomen of color, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.). In yet another retweet, Hopkins lamented: “How I wish we had such leadership in the U.K.”
The @realDonaldTrump has made #2020 a bold and binary decision.— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) July 18, 2019
Are you going to choose socialists, choose ISIS, choose the Palestinian flag, choose Cair? Or are you going to choose to Make America Great Again? Choose @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/pDwjp47WzR
Trump’s increasing interest in promoting Hopkins to his massive Twitter following is an unusual choice in the face of accusations of racism against him. Hopkins attacked Jewish leadership after 11 people were shot dead at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh last October. The gunman charged in the attack, Robert Bowers, posted an anti-Semitic screed on a social media platform popular with neo-Nazis shortly before he opened fire in the synagogue.
Hopkins indicated in a tweet (which she has since removed) that the attack was somehow retribution for Jewish leaders’ support for immigrants.
She tweeted after the attack that she was “watching the pin-the-blame on the donkey.” Hopkins added: “Look to the Chief Rabbi and his support for mass migration across the Med. There you will find your truths.” It wasn’t clear which rabbi she meant. The chief rabbi of the United Kingdom, Ephraim Mirvis, has spoken out for the plight of immigrants, noted The Jewish Chronicle.
Trump, meanwhile, continued to blast the Democratic congresswomen after saying last week that they should “go back” to where they came from because of their criticism of him and his policies. Three of the four women were born in America, and Pressley and Ocasio-Cortez have more Americans in their ancestry than Trump, whose mother was an immigrant.
He has attempted to characterize the women as anti-Semitic, and concocted a comment they never said, referring to “evil Jews.” He insisted Sunday that they “should apologize to America (and Israel).”
I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country. They should apologize to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said. They are destroying the Democrat Party, but are weak & insecure people who can never destroy our great Nation!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2019
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.