House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that the Democratic Party has not been tainted by anti-Semitism, disputing claims by President Trump and his Republican supporters.
Pelosi’s comments came during an interview conducted in Dublin, Ireland, by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, who asked the speaker whether she was worried that Republicans would try to exploit claims of anti-Semitism in the 2020 election.
“I think the president is bankrupt of any ideas,” she said. “I don’t want to talk about the president here because I’m overseas. Come see me in Washington, D.C., and I’ll tell you what I think about that and the president, but no, we are not — we have no taint of [anti-Semitism] in the Democratic Party, and just because they want to accuse somebody of that, doesn’t mean that we take that bait.”
Pelosi: "No taint" of anti-semitism in Dem party pic.twitter.com/yEIHWRjO8N— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) April 16, 2019
In recent days, Trump has attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, over comments the president has portrayed as “very disrespectful” to Israel, Jews and the U.S.
Before Nancy, who has lost all control of Congress and is getting nothing done, decides to defend her leader, Rep. Omar, she should look at the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and ungrateful U.S. HATE statements Omar has made. She is out of control, except for her control of Nancy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019
Trump received widespread criticism from Democrats after posting a video of Omar’s selectively edited speech before the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The video showed Omar’s describing the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as “some people did something,” intercut with footage of the burning Twin Towers.
Omar was making a point about anti-Muslim bias after the attacks.
Her criticism of Israel, and the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, has given Trump ammunition to portray her — and her party — as opposed to Jews.
"The Democrats have even allowed the terrible scourge of anti-Semitism to take root in their party and in their country," Trump said in an April 6 address to the Republican Jewish Coalition convention in Las Vegas, adding, "And a special thanks to Representative Omar of Minnesota," Trump joked, as the crowd booed. "Oh, oh, oh, I forgot, she doesn't like Israel, I forgot, I’m so sorry. Oh, no, she doesn’t like Israel, does she. Oh, please, I apologize.”
“I don’t think that the congresswoman is anti-Semitic. I wouldn’t even put those in the same category,” Pelosi said of Omar, who is one of a group of freshman Democrats with a sometimes testy relationship to the House leadership.
Figures complied by the Pew Research Center showed that 71 percent of Jewish voters supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, while 24 percent supported Trump.
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