President Trump speaks during a news conference on Feb. 16 at the White House in Washington. (Nicholas Kamm/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

This morning, MSNBC host Craig Melvin pressed President Trump about the threats aimed at Jewish community centers across the United States, a question that came on the heels of Trump’s harsh treatment of a reporter who about a rise in anti-Semitism at a news conference last Thursday. “Eleven called-in threats yesterday alone. More than 55 since the beginning of the year. Will you denounce anti-Semitism once and for all, just to clear up the confusion?” asked Melvin.

Trump responded, “Well, I do all the time. I do all the time and I think it’s terrible, I think it’s horrible, whether it’s anti-Semitism or racism or anything you want to think about having to do with the divide. Anti-Semitism is likewise — it’s just terrible. And you don’t know where it’s coming from but I certainly hope they catch the people. I think you maybe have had it for longer than people think and maybe it gets brought up a little bit more. But I will tell you that anti-Semitism is horrible and it’s going to stop and it has to stop.”

Pushed by Melvin to restate his position, Trump said, “Of course. And I do it, whenever I get a chance, I do it.”

Oh yeah? Last spring, magazine journalist Julia Ioffe wrote a thoroughgoing profile of Melania Trump for GQ. As most thoroughgoing pieces of journalism tend to do, this one displeased the Trumps. Melania Trump blasted the piece on Facebook. The post started with some buzzwords purloined from Donald Trump stump speeches: “The article published in GQ today is yet another example of the dishonest media and their disingenuous reporting. Julia Ioffe, a journalist who is looking to make a name for herself, clearly had an agenda when going after my family,” read the beginning of the post. The Daily Stormer chimed in with its own hateful thoughts, under the headline, “Empress Melania Attacked by Filthy Russian Kike Julia Ioffe in GQ!”

That cued the anti-Semitism — murderous threats that became so worrisome that Ioffe had to file a police report. In an early May 2016 interview, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Trump about the hatred directed at Ioffe. Here’s the entire relevant transcript:

BLITZER: Some of your supporters have viciously attacked this woman, Julia Ioffe, with anti-Semitic attacks, death threats. These people get so angry. What’s your message to these people when something like that happens?

TRUMP: I haven’t read the article, but I heard it was a very inaccurate article, and I heard it was a nasty article. I’m married to a woman who’s a very fine woman. She’s a very fine woman. She doesn’t need this, believe me. She was very, very successful. She did tremendously well as a top model. She made a lot of money. And — and she’s a nice person. And I guess some of the article says that she would go in at night and she would stay — she wasn’t a party person. She, you know, that’s not her thing. But this was a very — this is a very high quality woman who loves people and has a big heart. She doesn’t need to be — have bad things said about her. And I heard the article was nasty. Now, I haven’t read it, but I heard the article was not what it should be. They shouldn’t be doing that with wives. I mean, they shouldn’t be doing that. Melania, as a top model, they sent pictures around to Utah and it wasn’t even …

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: … you know, it wasn’t even like a naked picture …

BLITZER: … these anti-Semitic death threats.

TRUMP: Oh, I don’t know about that. I — I don’t know anything about that. Do you mean …

BLITZER: But — but your message to the …

TRUMP: … you mean fans of mine?

BLITZER: Supposed fans of yours …

TRUMP: I don’t know.

BLITZER: … posting these …

TRUMP: I know nothing about it.

BLITZER: … very angry …

TRUMP: You’ll have to talk to them about it.

BLITZER: But your message to these fans is?

TRUMP: I don’t have a message to the fans. A woman wrote a — a article that was inaccurate. Now, I’m used to it. I get such bad articles. I get such — the press is so dishonest, Wolf, I can’t even tell you. It’s so dishonest. There’s nothing more dishonest than the media. And I know it better than anybody. And it’s actually gotten to a point where it doesn’t even bother me anymore, it’s gotten so ridiculous. I mean, I’ve had stories over the last couple of weeks that were so dishonest, knowingly dishonest. It’s not a question like they’re bad reporters …

To this blog’s eyes, that looked quite like a “chance” to denounce anti-Semitism.