A fringe “Jexodus” movement seeking to weaken US Jews’ support for the Democratic party got a boost Friday from President Donald Trump, who said Republicans “are waiting with open arms.”
The Jewish vote has long leaned solidly left but Trump puts major emphasis on his support for Israel’s right-wing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and allies cast him as the most pro-Israeli US leader in history.
Trump’s latest gambit is to promote a tiny, newly-created group called “Jexodus,” which wants to lure Jewish voters to the Republicans.
In a tweet supporting the bid to encourage “Jewish people to leave the Democrat Party,” Trump touted his controversial decisions to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem and to withdraw from a carefully crafted deal over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
In an earlier tweet this week, Trump quoted the spokeswoman for “Jexodus,” Elizabeth Pipko, who said that Democrats “don’t care about Israel or the Jewish people.”
Trump’s decision to give the fledgling group so much publicity comes as Republicans try and take advantage of turmoil in the Democratic Party over recent comments by a congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, that some saw as anti-Semitic.
But in the 2016 presidential elections, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton scored 71 percent of the Jewish vote to Trump’s 24 percent.
Even Pipko, who is reported to be a former Trump White House staffer, seemed to question whether “Jexodus” will have much success.
Speaking on the “FOX & Friends” morning news show, a favorite of Trump’s, she said her Jewish friends “never changed their minds” over supporting Democrats and “I don’t think they’re going to change.”
The timing of Trump’s latest foray into Jewish-American politics raised eyebrows.
His tweet calling for Jews to abandon the Democratic party came just after he tweeted an expression of sympathy for victims of mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques that killed 49 people.
One of the alleged perpetrators posted a lengthy statement expressing deep hatred for Islam.
CNN’s Bakari Sellers schools Rick Santorum over claim Trump is not part of the ‘extreme hard right’
During a panel discussion on CNN's State of the Union, contributor Bakari Sellers set fellow panelist Rick Santorum straight after he tried to claim that Donald Trump doesn't take far-right positions.
Following a discussion on Sen. Bernie Sanders' Nevada caucus win, Santorum tried to note the major differences between Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Responding to conservative commentator Linda Chavez who called both Sanders and Trump "two angry people," Santorum remarked, "I wanted to take issue with what Linda said: two angry folks representing the extremes, and I would agree with that, with Bernie Sanders, and he is representing, no question, the extreme of the Democratic Party and he says that he is a socialist and he is angry, I agree."
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Conservative religious pundits on Fox News recoiled in outrage on Sunday after a left-leaning guest suggested that Jesus Christ was "more of a socialist" than a capitalist.
During a Fox & Friends segment designed to cast doubt on the faith or Democratic presidential candidates, evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress argued that socialism is "antithetical to Christianity."
But St. Paul Reverend Dee Dawkins-Haigler reminded the other panelists that scriptures seemed to point to what people now call socialism.
"We believe in things like, what did you do to the least of them?" Dawkins-Haigler explained. "You fed the hungry, you clothed the naked, you went to see those who are in prison."
Chris Wallace grills Pence aide on Russia attacks: ‘You can’t say it didn’t happen and then say they leaked it’
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"There's not intelligence that said the Russians are trying to help Donald Trump win elections," Short said during an interview on Fox News Sunday.
"I know that's the White House argument," Wallace acknowledged. "There is a consistent story that came out this week and we've heard it from members of the committee, from members of the intelligence community, we've heard it from people in your own White House."