President Donald Trump mocked Rep. Ilhan Omar in a speech to a conservative Jewish lobbying group on Saturday, claiming the freshman Minnesota Democrat ‘doesn’t like Israel.’
Trump was speaking in Las Vegas at the annual meeting of the National Jewish Coalition, a political lobbying group that supports Jewish Republicans.
Trump mockingly thanked Omar as he began his speech, before adding, ‘Oh, I forgot. She doesn’t like Israel, I forgot, I’m sorry. No, she doesn’t like Israel, does she? Please, I apologize.’
He also accused Democrats of allowing anti-Semitism to ‘take root’ in their party.
In February, Omar, who is Muslim, was accused of ‘anti-Semitic tropes’ for suggesting that money influences American’s foreign policy toward Israel.
Trump was speaking on Saturday in Las Vegas at the annual meeting of the National Jewish Coalition, a political lobbying group that supports Jewish Republicans
Echoing the famed MAGA hat, a supporter was seen wearing a Make America Great Again yarmulke
Trump mockingly thanked Omar (above) as he began his speech, before adding, ‘Oh, I forgot. She doesn’t like Israel, I forgot, I’m sorry’
Attendees hold up signs while waiting to see Trump speak during the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting at The Venetian Las Vegas on Saturday
On Friday, a New York man was arrested and charged with threatening to assault and murder Omar, federal prosecutors said.
Patrick Carlineo Jr, 55, of Addison, New York, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.
According to prosecutors, Carlineo spoke by telephone with one of Omar’s staff members on March 21 and asked the employee: ‘Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she’s a (expletive) terrorist. I’ll put a bullet in her (expletive) skull.’
In his speech on Saturday, Trump warned that a Democratic victory in 2020 could ‘leave Israel out there,’ as he highlighted his pro-Israel actions in an effort to make the case for Jewish voters to back his re-election.
Trump touted his precedent-shredding actions to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and recognition last month of Israeli sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, a strategic plateau that Israel seized from Syria in 1967.
‘We got you something that you wanted,’ Trump said of the embassy move, adding, ‘Unlike other presidents, I keep my promises.’
Trump speaks during the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting
A man wears a Trump yarmulke while waiting for Trump to address the Republican Jewish Coalition 2019 Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas
The distinctive Trump red headwear was seen throughout the crowd in Las Vegas on Saturday
Trump admits Golan Heights shift was a snap decision made after ‘quickie’ talk with Jared Kushner
Speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition on Saturday, President Donald Trump admitted that he changed decades of U.S. policy on the Golan Heights after a quick conversation with his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.
‘I said, ‘Fellows, do me a favor. Give me a little history, quick. Want to go fast. I got a lot of things I’m working on: China, North Korea. Give me a quickie,’ Trump said to laughter from the Las Vegas crowd.
”How do you like the idea of me recognizing exactly what we’re discussing?” said Trump, recounting the conversation.
Trump, who typically demands short sharp briefings and is known for his colorful retelling of stories, said Friedman was shocked, ‘like a wonderful, beautiful baby,’ and asked the President if he would actually do it.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Trump last month. At their March 25 meeting, Trump signed a proclamation officially granting U.S. recognition of the Golan as Israeli territory, a dramatic departure from decades of U.S. policy. The move, which Trump announced in a tweet days prior, was widely seen as an attempt to boost Netanyahu who is up for re-election on April 9.
Israel captured the Golan in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in 1981 in a move not recognized internationally.
‘I went – ‘BING!’ – it was done,’ Trump said on Saturday, describing the swiftness of his decision. ‘We make fast decisions. And we make good decisions.’
The group, backed by GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson, supported Trump’s 2016 campaign and is preparing to spend millions on his 2020 effort.
‘I know that the Republican Jewish Coalition will help lead our party to another historic victory,’ Trump said. ‘We need more Republicans. Let’s go, so we can win everything.’
Jewish voters in the U.S. have traditionally sided heavily with Democrats – and are often ideologically liberal – but Republicans are hoping to narrow the gap next year, in part as Trump cites actions that he says demonstrate support for Israel.
Trump earned standing ovations and chants of ‘four more years’ for recounting both the embassy move and the Golan Heights recognition.
Trump noted it had long been a priority for Adelson and his wife, Miriam. ‘That is the most important thing that’s ever happened in their life,’ Trump said. ‘They love Israel.’
Trump’s speech comes weeks after he suggested Democrats ‘hate’ Jews.
Before Trump’s appearance, people assembled for the event carried signs with ‘We are Jews for Trump’ and ‘Trump’ written in Hebrew. Dozens of men and several women wore red yarmulkes with ‘Trump’ in white that were distributed at the event.
A man in a hat reading ‘Make Israel & America Great Again’ holds up a sign at the event
Attendees wear ‘Trump’ yarmulkes before President Donald Trump speaks at an annual meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition
Trump also took credit for eliminating hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians and for pulling the U.S. out of several U.N. organizations, the U.N. Human Rights Council and UNESCO, citing anti-Israel bias in their agendas.
Trump criticized some 2020 Democrats who have suggesting they would re-enter the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, from which Trump withdrew the United States.
The agreement was fiercely opposed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has cheered as Trump re-imposed stringent new sanctions on the country that Israel regards as an existential threat. Trump is closely aligned with Netanayu, who’s seeking to return power in Tuesday’s national election.
Trump predicted that election is ‘gonna be close,’ adding it features ‘Two good people,’ seemingly referring to Netanyahu and his chief threat to Netanyahu’s coalition, former Israeli army chief of staff, Benny Gantz.
Despite his criticism of Democrats, Trump has faced his own criticism from the Jewish community. Trump was slow to condemn white supremacists who marched violently in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. The previous year, he circulated an image of a six-pointed star alongside a photo of Hillary Clinton, a pile of money and the words ‘most corrupt candidate ever.’
When he addressed the RJC in 2015 he said he didn’t expect to earn their support because he wouldn’t take their money. ‘You want to control your politicians, that’s fine,’ Trump said at the time. Ultimately, the group and many of its donors backed Trump.
Trump met privately with Adelson before speaking, according to an official. Adelson has cancer and has been in poor health, but he and his wife attended Trump’s remarks – receiving a standing ovation when they entered the ballroom.
A guest wearing a cap ‘Make America Great Again’ with badges of US President Donald J. Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives at the event
Trump earned standing ovations and chants of ‘four more years’ for recounting both the embassy move and the Golan Heights recognition
The Adelsons gave Trump’s campaign $30 million in 2016. They followed that by contributing $100 million to the Republican Party for the 2018 midterm elections.
Introducing Trump, former Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., the chairman of the RJC, led the audience in an adapted version of the Passover reading ‘Dayenu,’ as he recounted what Trump had done for Israel.
Stuart Weil, a Jewish man from Fresno, California, said Americans have traditionally been very supportive of Israel but ‘the progressive, liberal wing of the Democratic Party’ is changing that.
Weil, who wore a blue Trump-style hat that read, ‘Making Israel & America Great Again,’ says he’s a Republican because of the party’s strong stance on Israel.
According to AP Votecast, a survey of more than 115,000 midterm voters and 3,500 Jewish voters nationwide, voters who identified as Jewish broke for Democrats over Republicans by a wide margin, 72 percent to 26 percent, in 2016.
Over the past decade, Jewish voters have shown stability in their partisanship, according to data from Pew Research Center. Jewish voters identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party over the Republican Party by a roughly 2-1 ratio.