President Donald Trump on Tuesday decried anti-Semitism, calling recent threats against Jewish community centers “horrible” and a “reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”
“This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms,” Trump said Tuesday, delivering brief remarks after visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture for the first time. “The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”
Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had called on Trump earlier Tuesday to speak out against anti-Semitic violence, an issue he side-stepped at his press conference last week.
“JCC threats, cemetery desecration & online attacks are so troubling & they need to be stopped. Everyone must speak out, starting w/ @POTUS,” Clinton tweeted Tuesday morning.
Her post follows a call from the Anti-Defamation League for the Trump administration to take action in response to a wave of reported threats against Jewish community centers (which are often referred to by the abbreviation JCC) around the country. At least 10 such centers have received bomb threats in recent days, the fourth wave of threats against JCCs that the ADL has identified this year.
Ahead of his brief address, the president had told MSNBC’s Craig Melvin that “anti-Semitism is horrible and it’s gonna stop and it has to stop.” He added that the racial divide in America is “age-old” and speculated that “something” is going on that prevents the country from fully healing.
“Sometimes it gets better and then it busts apart. But we wanna have it get very much better, get unified and stay together,” Trump said. “But you’ve seen it where oftentimes it’ll get much better and then it blows up.”