Trump, after failing to denounce anti-Semitism, calls threats to Jews ‘horrible’ and ‘painful’

Donald+Trump+speaks+on+October+26%2C+2016%2C+in+Washington%2C+D.C.+%28Olivier+Douliery%2FAbaca+Press%2FTNS%29

TNS

Donald Trump speaks on October 26, 2016, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, under pressure for his reluctance to address a recent spike in anti-Semitic threats, condemned them in forceful terms Tuesday during a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

Trump spoke effusively about his tour of the new African-American museum on the National Mall, calling it a “meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms.”

He linked that lesson to bomb threats lodged against dozens of Jewish community centers around the country in recent weeks.

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“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” he continued.

The comments came shortly after a tweet by his former rival, Hillary Clinton, calling on Trump to speak out.

“JCC threats, cemetery desecration & online attacks are so troubling & they need to be stopped. Everyone must speak out, starting w/ @POTUS,” Clinton tweeted.

Trump grew defensive when asked about the subject during a news conference last week, calling a question about how the government would respond “insulting” and telling an Orthodox Jewish reporter who asked it to sit down.

Trump reacted as though the allegation of anti-Semitism was directed at him, even though the reporter who asked it emphasized that it was not.

“I hate the charge,” Trump said. “I find it repulsive.”

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