Donald Trump’s press secretary has refused to confirm whether or not the US President truly believes the Democrats “hate” Jewish people.
Mr Trump said last week that the Democratic Party, which controls the House of Representatives, had “become an anti-Israel party. They’ve become an anti-Jewish party, and that’s too bad.”
But he was later reported to have told donors to the Republican National Congress that Democrats “hate” Jewish people, according to a person who was at the private event and heard the remark.
During a White House press briefing on Monday, his spokeswoman Sarah Sanders declined to confirm or deny whether Mr Trump really thinks Democrats hate Jewish people, despite multiple questions from reporters.
“The president has been an unwavering and committed ally to Israel and the Jewish people and, frankly, the remarks that have been made by a number of Democrats and failed to be called out by Democrat leadership is frankly abhorrent and it’s sad,” Ms Sanders said at the briefing, according to AP.
“It’s something that should be called by name. It shouldn’t be put in a watered-down resolution.”
Democrats have been at the centre of a passionate debate on Israel and antisemitism after a series of statements by Congressman Ilhan Omar, a representative for Minnesota.
Ms Omar recently suggested Israel’s supporters were pushing US lawmakers to take a pledge of “allegiance” to a foreign country.
Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel than to their interests of their own nation is listed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance as an example of contemporary antisemitism in public life.
Last Thursday the House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning expressions of bigotry — including antisemitism — that did not mention Ms Omar by name.