European Jewish Congress
Report: Trump suggests antisemitic threats might be politically motivated
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Report: Trump suggests antisemitic threats might be politically motivated

Donald Trump on Tuesday said that a spate of bomb threats against Jewish centres could have been an attempt “to make others look bad”, according to the Pennsylvania attorney general, Josh Shapiro, who attended a White House meeting with other state law enforcement officials.

Trump’s comments as described by Shapiro appeared to suggest that some of the threats may have been manufactured for political reasons. Trump made similar remarks at a news conference earlier this month when asked about acts of discrimination, saying some incidents had been created by his opponents to generate negative media coverage.

During a meeting at the White House with dozens of state attorneys general on Tuesday, Trump called the threats “reprehensible”, said Shapiro, who summarised the president’s remarks during a conference call with reporters.

But Trump then added that “the reverse could be true” and that the incidents could be aimed at making “someone else look bad”, said Shapiro, a Democrat.

The president’s words came in response to a question from Shapiro about the threats. He said two of his children had to be evacuated from their day school on Monday.

“I found that statement to be a bit curious,” Shapiro said, though he declined to speculate about what Trump may have meant.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokeswoman, said she was not part of Tuesday’s meeting, referring to it as a “private conversation”, but said the president had always condemned antisemitic acts.

“What I do know is the conversations I have had with the president,” Sanders said. “He’s been extremely clear and extremely consistent on this topic: any act of violence toward people of the Jewish faith is condemned by this administration.“

The discussion came a day after Jewish community centres and schools in at least 13 states reported receiving bomb threats, the fifth such wave this year. The incidents have alarmed Jewish groups fearful that antisemitism is on the rise. No explosives have been found in any of the incidents reported this year.

The Mississippi attorney general, Democrat Jim Hood, largely confirmed Shapiro’s account.

“He kind of said something to the effect: ‘Maybe that was an insider job,’” Hood said. “He said something about: some of the time those situations happen to make another look bad.” 

Click here to read the full article in The Guardian

Wednesday, March 01, 2017
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