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When asked about the recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks—including the 16 bomb threats made on Jewish Community Centers and day schools yesterday—President Donald Trump reportedly told a group of state attorney generals that “sometimes it’s the reverse.”
“He just said, ‘Sometimes it’s the reverse, to make people—or to make others—look bad,'” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro told BuzzFeed News about the Trump meeting he was part of on Tuesday. “And he used the word ‘reverse,’ I would say, two to three times in his comments. He did correctly say at the top that it was reprehensible.”
Shapiro wasn’t sure what the president actually meant by “reverse” and that it “didn’t make a whole lot of sense,” but Trump is expected to address the anti-Semitic attacks—which include two Jewish cemeteries vandalized in a week and the nearly 90 bomb threats made to JCCs since January—during his speech to Congress tonight.
In a similar sentiment, Anthony Scaramucci, a Trump cabinet pick, also said it was “not yet clear” who threatened the JCCs, tweeting a link to a Breitbart story about how Democrats have been the ones to start violence at Trump’s rallies.
Before last week, Trump had remained all but silent about the waves of anti-Semitic attacks, going so far as to not even mention Jews in a Holocaust Remembrance Day statement.
The Anti-Defamation League, however, is not letting him off the hook for his suggestive comments today, saying in a statement: “It is incumbent upon the White House to immediately clarify these remarks. In light of the ongoing attacks on the Jewish community, it is also incumbent upon the president to lay out in his speech tonight his plans for what the federal government will do to address this rash of anti-Semitic incidents.”
H/T BuzzFeed News
Jessica Machado is the IRL editor of the Daily Dot. Previously, she was an associate editor at Rolling Stone. Her work has been published in the Washington Post, Elle, Vice, Salon, BuzzFeed, Guernica, Bitch, Bust, the Cut, the Awl, the Toast, among others.