WASHINGTON -- Speaking to press on Wednesday, Donald Trump reiterated his earlier comments on Israel, saying "In my opinion, if you vote for a Democrat you're being very disloyal to Jewish people and you're being very disloyal to Israel.”
“I have been responsible for a lot of great things for Israel,” Trump said.
This is the second time Trump has expressed this sentiment, which prompted backlash on Tuesday from Jewish Americans. Trump, though, said his assertions are not anti-Semitic.
Trump’s relationship with Israel has made waves in recent days. Last week, Israel announced that two Democratic congresswomen were barred from visiting Israel after Trump tweeted that Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib “hate Israel & all Jewish people.”
It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019
He later attacked the Democratic Party after Omar said the United States should rethink aid to Israel. He said Democrats were “defending these two people over the state of Israel.”
Trump added on Tuesday: “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge, or great disloyalty.”
CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League Jonathan Greenblatt spoke out on CNN and said “I will be exactly clear on what that was: anti-Seminitism.”
Let’s be clear: What @POTUS said was #antiSemitic. The charge of disloyalty or dual loyalty has been used against Jews for centuries. Almost a year after the #Pittsburgh shooting, as #antiSemitism continues to rise, it’s bewildering that we still need to have this conversation. https://t.co/siRhdAvlSI— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) August 21, 2019
"This vast majority of our community rejected and continues to abhor the xenophobia, bigotry and extremism of Donald Trump and his allies," Communications Director for J Street Logan Bayroff said in a statement. "They’re loyal to the Jewish and liberal democratic values of tolerance, equality, social justice and the pursuit of peace — not to the far-right agenda of this president, which continues to put the lives of American Jews and other vulnerable minority groups in danger.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump says Jewish Democratic voters are 'disloyal' for a second time