White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to say Monday whether President Trump believes Democrats “hate Jewish people,” arguing that reporters should pose that question to Democratic lawmakers.
According to an attendee, Trump said Friday at a Republican National Committee fundraiser at his Mar-a-Lago Club that “the Democrats hate Jewish people.” News of Trump’s remarks was first reported by Axios.
“I think that’s a question you ought to ask the Democrats,” Sanders said at a White House news briefing, the first in more than 40 days.
Sanders said she would not “comment on a potentially leaked document,” referring to reports of Trump’s fundraiser remarks. She took aim at Democrats for a House resolution last week that broadly condemned hate, arguing that the measure — which overwhelmingly passed with bipartisan support — did not specifically reference alleged anti-Semitic comments made by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
“I think that they’ve had a lot of opportunities over the last few weeks to condemn some abhorrent comments . . . That’s a question frankly I think you should ask Democrats — what their position is — since they’re unwilling to call this what it is,” Sanders said.
The seven-page resolution condemned anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim bigotry in equal measure. It also mentioned racial attacks in Charlottesville in 2017, the killing of nine African Americans at a church in Charleston in 2015, and the deadly attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh in October that left 11 dead.
In addition to his reported fundraiser remarks, Trump has also in recent days claimed that the Democratic Party is “anti-Jewish.”
“The Democrats have become an anti-Israel party. They’ve become an anti-Jewish party, and that’s too bad,” he said Friday in remarks to reporters outside the White House.
Josh Dawsey contributed to this report.