President Donald Trump condemned anti-Semitism in response to a series of vandalism events targeting Jewish sites.
“Anti-Semitism is horrible and it’s going to stop,” Trump told NBC News after visiting the African-American museum in Washington D.C. on Tuesday. “And, it’s gonna stop and it has to stop.”
Trump’s response came as the media criticized him for not condemning the vandalism forcefully enough.
“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. “The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are a painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”
During the museum visit, Trump was asked by reporters if he would visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. as well.
“I will. I will be doing it soon,” he said. “Very important. Very important for me.”
Trump has battled media accusations that he is implicitly indifferent to anti-Semitism, despite his repeated support for Israel and his Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump and their three grandchildren.
“I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life,” Trump said emphatically during a press conference last week, when he was questioned by reporter about “an uptick in anti-Semitism.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended Trump from critics during a press conference at the White House.
“I’ve known the president and I’ve known his family and his team for a long time. There is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state than president Donald Trump,” Netanyahu said. “I think we should put that to rest.”