White House Condemns ‘Cowardly Destruction’ At Jewish Cemetery

AP

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that President Donald Trump “continues to condemn” vandalism at Jewish cemeteries and threats made to Jewish community centers.

“The President continues to be deeply disappointed and concerned by the reports of further vandalism at Jewish cemeteries,” Spicer said during his daily press briefing.

He cited “cowardly destruction” at a Jewish cemetery where hundreds of headstones were overturned over the weekend, as well as “threats made to Jewish community centers” across the United States.

“The President continues to condemn these and any other form of anti-Semitic and hateful acts in the strongest terms,” Spicer said. “No one in America should feel afraid to follow the religion of their choosing freely and openly. The President is dedicated to preserving this originating principle of our nation.”

Jewish community centers in at least 11 states received bomb threats on Monday, echoing similar waves of threats on Jan. 9 and Jan. 18.

According to a report by WPVI, more than 500 headstones were damaged at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Philadelphia over the weekend. Philadelphia police called it an act of vandalism, but did not name a specific cause.

More than 100 headstones were tipped over last week at a Jewish cemetery in the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, Missouri, according to a report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Spicer also addressed on Monday a triple shooting in Kansas that witnesses described as racially motivated.

“I don’t want to get ahead of law enforcement, but I was asked the other day about the story in Kansas, the shooting in Kansas,” Spicer said. “While the story is evolving, early reports out of Kansas are equally disturbing.”

A suspect was arrested Thursday in connection with the triple shooting in Olathe, Kansas. The shooter allegedly shouted “get out of my country” before opening fire at a bar on Wednesday night and later reportedly told a bartender that he had “shot and killed two Iranian people.”

Two of the victims of the shooting were immigrants from India.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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