- President Donald Trump pushed back aggressively after a Jewish reporter asked him his plans to curb rising anti-Semitism
- Trump, who had asked for a 'friendly reporter,' was peeved at the query, saying the reporter 'lied' and the question was 'very dishonest'
- Jake Turx of Ami Magazine later took to Twitter and said he thought the president had 'misunderstood' his question
President Donald Trump scolded a Jewish reporter at his White House press conference today, after Jake Turx of Ami Magazine asked how the government planned to curb rising anti-Semitism.
'See, he lied about – he was gonna get up and ask a straight, simple question, so you know, welcome to the world of the media,' the president said, classifying Turx's query as a 'very insulting question.'
Turx had prefaced his question by noting how nobody in the community was accusing the president or his staff of being anti-Semitic and noted Trump's three Jewish grandchildren.
'However, what we are concerned about and what we haven't really heard being addressed is an uptick in antisemitism and how the government is planning to take care of it,' Turx said, quoting a report that said there have been 48 threats made against Jewish centers in January.
Jake Turx of Ami Magazine asked President Donald Trump about the rise in anti-Semitism and how his government planned to combat it - what he received was a rant
President Donald Trump called out a Jewish reporter for asking a 'very insulting question' at today's White House presser
The reporter in question, Jake Turx, said he believed Donald Trump had misunderstood his query, as he asked about rising anti-Semitism, not if the president was anti-Semitic
Trump, who had already spent much of the press conference berating the press, wasn't having it.
Before even calling on Turx he had surveyed the room asking for a 'friendly reporter.'
What Turx asked wasn't Trump's interpretation of 'friendly.'
'He said he was gonna ask a very simple, easy question. And it’s not, its not, not — not a simple question, not a fair question. OK sit down, I understand the rest of your question,' Trump said.
WHAT JAKE TURX ASKED DONALD TRUMP
'I haven't seen anybody in my community accuse you or any members of your staff of being anti-Semitic. There's an understanding you have Jewish grandchildren. However, what we are concerned about and what we haven't really heard being addressed is an uptick in antisemitism and how the government is planning to take care of it. There was a report out that 48 bomb threats have been made against Jewish centers all across the country in the last couple of weeks. There are people who are committing anti-Semitic acts or threatening to.'
The president then defended himself against accusations of anti-Semitism and racism, which wasn't what the reporter had asked.
'So here’s the story, folks. Number one, I am the least anti- Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life,' Trump said.
'Number two, racism, the least racist person,' Trump continued.
When Turx tried to repeat what he had asked, Trump yelled 'quiet, quiet, quiet,' from the podium and then called the journalist a liar.
'But let me just tell you something, that I hate the charge, I find it repulsive,' the president continued.
'I hate even the question because people that know me and you heard the prime minister, you heard Ben Netanyahu yesterday, did you hear him, Bibi? He said, I’ve known Donald Trump for a long time and then he said, forget it,' Trump said, referencing a defense made yesterday by the Israeli prime minister against any charges of anti-Semitism made against Trump and his White House.
Trump told the Jewish reporter that he should take Netanyahu's word.
'See, it just shows you about the press, but that’s the way the press is,' the president quipped before moving on.
After the dust-up, Turx took to Twitter to clear the air.
'President Trump clearly misunderstood my question. This is highly regretful and I'm going to seek clarification,' Turx said.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer was spotted today at President Donald Trump's contentious press conference where he tore into the media for much of the hour-plus affair
Several minutes later, SiriusXM POTUS channel's White House Correspondent Jared Rizzi tried broaching the topic again.
'It's not about your personality or your beliefs, we're talking about a rise in anti-Semitism around the country, some of it by supporters in your name,' Rizzi explained.
Trump suggested that 'some of it' – referencing 'racism and horrible things' – was the work of his political opponents, not his supporters.
'Some of the signs you'll see are not put up by the people that love or like Donald Trump, they're put up by the other side and you think it's like playing it straight?' the president mused.
'No,' he said, answering his own question.
'But you have some of those signs and some of that anger is caused by the other side,' he said. 'They'll do signs and they'll do drawings that are inappropriate.'
Trump was likely referencing swastikas and other racist graffiti that has popped up in recent months. One viral video depicts people on the New York City subway cleaning off the Nazi anti-Semitic marks, which were drawn all over the interior of one of the trains.
'It won't be my people,' Trump said of such antics. 'It will be the people on the other side to anger people like you. OK.'
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