Trump, who spoke to reporters as he left the White House en route to Alabama to view tornado damage, said the episode revealed something broader about Democrats.
“The Democrats have become an anti-Israel party,” he said. “They’ve become an anti-Jewish party, and that’s too bad.”
His comments came a day after a 407-to-23 vote on a resolution in response to comments by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). All 23 votes against the measure came from Republicans.
The resolution condemned anti-Semitism and discrimination against Muslims in equal measure, a shift from a draft circulated Monday that rebuked only anti-Semitism. Neither mentioned Omar or her comments specifically.
The resolution was revised shortly before Thursday’s vote to add Latinos, Asian Americans and LGBT people to a list of groups subject to hate.
It also referred to a gathering in Charlottesville in 2017 organized by white nationalists and neo-Nazis that turned deadly. Trump drew widespread condemnation afterward for suggesting there were “some very fine people on both sides,” referring to the organizers and protesters.
Omar drew intense scrutiny last week when she suggested Israel’s supporters have an “allegiance to a foreign country,” remarks that angered many who saw them as hateful tropes. Her defenders argued leadership was applying a double standard in singling out one of the two Muslim women in Congress.
Trump’s comments Friday prompted rebukes from several Democratic lawmakers and advocacy groups, including the Jewish Democratic Council of America.
“We are appalled, but not surprised, that President Trump has once again demonstrated dishonesty, hypocrisy, and willingness to use anti-Semitism and Israel as a political football,” Halie Soifer, the group’s executive director, said in a statement.
“We only wish the president had learned from this resolution, which defines anti-Semitism to include anti-Semitic tropes and conspiracy theories that he has repeatedly invoked himself. The president’s own words have fueled the fire of intolerance and targeting of Jews, and Republicans have failed to condemn the president’s remarks in the same way that Democrats were quick to rebuke Representative Omar.”
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who helped author the resolution that passed Thursday, also weighed in, calling Trump’s comments “obviously absurd.”
“You know the president is lucky that he escaped being named in that resolution,” Raskin said during an interview on CNN. “The president should really be careful about entering into this whole terrain.”
Mike DeBonis contributed to this report.