President Donald Trump held a press conference today in which he was supposed to announce his new pick for secretary of labor following Andrew Puzder's withdrawal. And he did, but then quickly moved on to other matters. The rest of the conference was an incredibly strange affair in which he managed to offend various groups of people. In all of the drama, you may have missed an important moment. While taking questions from the press, Trump silenced a Jewish reporter questioning him about anti-semitism.
During one point of the question segment of the conference, Trump declared that he wanted a "friendly reporter" and picked Jake Turx from Ami Magazine, a Jewish publication. Turx began his question by explaining that some had been calling Trump's administration anti-Semitic, but that he didn't agree with that categorization because there was no evidence to believe it. However, he referenced the recent number of bomb threats being called into Jewish centers saying, "What we are concerned about, and what we haven't really heard being addressed, is an uptick in anti-Semitism and how the government is planning to take care of it."
And that's when Trump had enough of the question, and decided to talk about how not anti-Semitic he is instead. He said,
He said he was gonna ask a very simple, easy question. And it's not, it's not, not — not a simple question, not a fair question. OK sit down, I understand the rest of your question. So here's the story, folks. Number one, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life. Number two, racism, the least racist person. In fact, we did very well relative to other people running as a Republican — quiet, quiet, quiet.
See, he lied about — he was gonna get up and ask a very straight, simple question, so you know, welcome to the world of the media. But let me just tell you something, that I hate the charge, I find it repulsive. I hate even the question because people that know me and you heard the prime minister, you heard Ben Netanyahu (ph) yesterday, did you hear him, Bibi? He said, I've known Donald Trump for a long time and then he said, forget it. So you should take that instead of having to get up and ask a very insulting question like that.
And just like that, Trump managed to turn a question about security and the threats reportedly taking place in Jewish centers around the country as a personal attack against himself from the press. Rather than offer support to Jewish centers and the Jewish communities that he represents as the president of the country, he decided to brag about how not anti-Semitic he is, and even shared a story about someone else who agreed he is not anti-Semitic to try to prove the point.
Trump claimed that he knew what the reporter was asking — which apparently enraged him enough to tell him to sit down — but it's very clear that he did not understand what he was being asked. In his anger at being asked a "not nice" question, he decided that it was appropriate to silence the reporter, as well as deride him to the rest of the room.
For someone who claims to want to unite the country, he sure doesn't make much of an effort to do so.