Trump accused of anti-Semitism after saying Jewish Americans will vote for him so they can avoid a wealth tax

tporter@businessinsider.com (Tom Porter)
President Trump

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  • Jewish groups have accused President Donald Trump of using anti-Semitic tropes in remarks at the Israeli American Council conference in Florida on Saturday.
  • "A lot of you are in the real-estate business, because I know you very well," Trump said in a speech at the conference. "You're brutal killers. Not nice people at all, but you have to vote for me you have no choice."
  • The Jewish Democratic Council of America's executive director, Halie Soifer, in a statement Sunday denounced what she called "vile and bigoted remarks in which the president — once again — used anti-Semitic stereotypes to characterize Jews as driven by money and insufficiently loyal to Israel."
  • Some conservative Jewish groups, however, backed the president.
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Progressive Jewish groups have accused President Donald Trump of spreading anti-Semitic smears when he spoke on Saturday night in an appeal to Jewish voters at an Israeli American Council conference.

In the remarks, Trump suggested that some of the audience members were so motivated by money that they would vote for him regardless of whether they liked him — and he attacked some American Jews as insufficiently loyal to Israel.

The Jewish Democratic Council's executive director, Halie Soifer, in a statement Sunday denounced what she described as "vile and bigoted remarks in which the president — once again — used anti-Semitic stereotypes to characterize Jews as driven by money and insufficiently loyal to Israel."

Trump addressed some of the remarks specifically to those working in real estate.

"A lot of you are in the real-estate business, because I know you very well," Trump told those gathered at the summit in Hollywood, Florida. "You're brutal killers. Not nice people at all, but you have to vote for me you have no choice."

Trump then went on to attack Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination — groundlessly claiming that she wanted to impose a 100% wealth tax.

"You're not going to vote for the wealth tax," he added. "Yeah, let's take 100% of your wealth away.

"Some of you don't like me. Some of you I don't like at all, actually. And you're going to be my biggest supporters because you're going to be out of business in about 15 minutes if they get it. So I don't have to spend a lot of time on that."

Among Warren's signature policy proposals is her Ultra Millionaire tax, which would see households pay an annual 2% tax on every dollar of wealth between $50 million and $1 billion and a 6% tax on wealth above $1 billion.

He also said, "We have to get the people of our country, of this country, to love Israel more."

"We have to get them to love Israel more because you have people that are Jewish people, that are great people — they don't love Israel enough," Trump said.

The progressive Jewish group J Street also denounced the president's comments.

"The President of the United States is incapable of addressing Jewish audiences without dipping into the deep well of anti-Semitic tropes that shape his worldview," it tweeted Sunday.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some conservative Jewish groups applauded Trump's speech Saturday and dismissed the accusations of anti-Semitism.

"To all those who are saying @realDonaldTrump trafficked in anti-semitic tropes in his speech last night by talking about how the Dems will tax them see their wealth evaporate- get over yourselves," Matt Brooks of the Republican Jewish Coalition wrote on Twitter. "He literally talks about this at every rally!"

It's not the first time Trump has been accused of using anti-Semitic tropes. He was criticized while still a candidate for the presidency back in 2016 when he tweeted out an image of rival Hillary Clinton, with a symbol resembling the Star of David and a pile of cash.

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