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Doug Emhoff Decries ‘Antisemitic’ Trump Comments on Jewish Democrats

(Bloomberg) -- Second gentleman Doug Emhoff condemned Republican Donald Trump for accusing Jews who support Democrats of hating their religion and Israel.

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Emhoff, who is Jewish and the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, singled out Trump’s comments on Tuesday as President Joe Biden’s team has highlighted the presumptive Republican nominee’s incendiary rhetoric against minorities and immigrants.

“This is a disgusting, toxic, antisemitic thing to say, by anyone, let alone a former president of the United States and it must be condemned,” Emhoff said during a campaign event in Omaha, Nebraska.

Emhoff is the highest-ranking Biden administration figure to criticize Trump’s comments. The first Jewish spouse of a president or vice president, Emhoff has been an outspoken voice in the White House against antisemitism. He has frequently denounced Trump’s remarks invoking anti-Jewish tropes as well as a spate of antisemitic harassment following Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack and Israel’s subsequent military campaign in Gaza.

Read More: Trump Says Jewish Democrats Hate Their Religion and Israel

Emhoff said Trump’s recent string of inflammatory statements, from suggesting he could act as a dictator on the first day of a second term to describing some migrants accused of crimes as “not people,” shows why it’s a “no-brainer” to support Biden in November.

“As bad as Trump was the first time, this will be far worse. Believe what he says,” Emhoff said in an interview with Bloomberg News.

The former president said in an interview published Monday that Jews who back Democrats “hate Israel.” He was asked about Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s speech calling for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ouster, which was praised by Biden.

“Any Jewish person that votes for Democrats hates their religion,” Trump said. “They hate everything about Israel, and they should be ashamed of themselves because Israel will be destroyed.”

Jewish groups and Democrats decried Trump’s remarks, which touch on an antisemitic trope that Jewish Americans share a dual loyalty to Israel. Emhoff said he was “outraged” and “felt compelled to say something” after hearing the former president’s comments.

“For Donald Trump to be the judge of what a good Jew is — it is the height of hypocrisy,” Emhoff said in the interview.

Emhoff was in Nebraska as part of a post-State of the Union travel blitz by Biden and his team. The area around Omaha is a key swing district that Democrats are targeting in a rematch with Trump that is expected to be close.

Nebraska splits up its Electoral College votes, which determine the winner of the presidential election. Trump won Nebraska handily in 2020 but Biden won the Second Congressional District and its single electoral vote. The district is expected to be competitive again in November.

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