President Donald Trump on Friday reportedly complained about American Jews who don’t support his agenda, telling a room of donors that he didn’t understand how any Jew could vote for a Democrat.
According to Axios, which spoke to attendees of Trump’s speech to Republican donors at his Mar-a-Lago club on Friday, Trump reportedly remarked at one point during his remarks: “The Democrats hate Jewish people.”
Per Axios: “Trump said he didn’t understand how any Jew could vote for a Democrat these days. Trump talked about how much he’d done for Israel, noting his historic decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.”
The outlet added that Trump bragged about hypothetically polling at 98 percent were he to run for prime minister of Israel.
It’s true, according to scattered polling, that Israelis, and especially Jewish Israelis, generally support Trump. But the opposite is true for Trump’s actual Jewish constituency: Jews who are eligible to vote for him.
Trump performed poorly among Jews in the 2016 election — perhaps due to his comments to the Republican Jewish Coalition that “you’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money” and “you want to control your own politician,” or his initial refusal to reject the support of former KKK grand wizard David Duke.
Or maybe it was the anti-Semitic meme he tweeted showing Hillary Clinton’s face against a backdrop of dollar bills, next to a six-point star with the words “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” A few days later, then-Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Michael Flynn shared a tweet — “a mistake,” he later said — that criticized “the corrupt Democratic machine” and vowed “Not anymore, Jews. Not anymore.”
The Trump campaign’s closing ad of the that election was also panned as peddling in anti-Semitic tropes.
Trump’s polling among American Jews hasn’t gotten better since then. For many Jews, nearly including former Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn, Trump’s comment that there were “very fine people on both sides” of the 2017 neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville marked a point of no return. Cohn publicly aired his disapproval of the response at the time, and left the administration a few months later. (Trump called him a globalist on the way out the door.)