The hatred that fueled the Pittsburgh synagogue mass shooting comes straight from the top.
After a horrific anti-Semitic mass shooting killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) called out Trump and Republican leaders for using rhetoric that plays into an "ancient hatred" of Jews.
On Sunday morning's edition of CNN's "State of the Union," host Jake Tapper asked Schiff about a now-deleted tweet from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) that attacked three prominent men of Jewish descent, including philanthropist and Holocaust survivor George Soros.
McCarthy sent that tweet after Soros was the target of a package bomb. And McCarthy didn't delete the tweet until after the shooting in Pittsburgh, despite revelations that the bomb sent to Soros was one of many assassination attempts against people who Trump has publicly criticized.
"These attacks, particularly on Soros, are driven largely by his Jewish faith," Schiff said. "The fact that he has become a symbol is not an accident."
Schiff pointed out that the racist conspiracy theories cited by the Pittsburgh murderer on social media (that Jewish organizations supposedly funded a caravan of Honduran refugees traveling to the U.S.) are very similar to the racist conspiracy theories being peddled by prominent Republicans (that Soros himself supposedly funded the caravan).
"The fact that they are promulgating this falsehood that he's funding the caravan is an effort to give rebirth to this blood libel that Jews are bringing impurity to the country, they're bringing other people to dilute the purity of the country," Schiff said.
"It's an ancient hatred, and it's no accident that they've made George Soros the symbol of this," Schiff continued. "And you do see people from the president on down playing on this, candidates around the country playing on this."
He added that this "unprecedented expansion, explosion of anti-Semitism, doesn't happen on its own — it happens because it's fed."
Trump's history of making common cause with, and even encouraging, anti-Semitic white supremacists dates back to his earliest days in office. Trump made his sympathies known by hiring white supremacists to work in his White House, and by calling Nazis "very fine people" following the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville.
The horrific events of the past week have done nothing to slow him down.
Hours after Soros was sent the package bomb on Monday, Trump repeated his claim that the migrant caravan was being funded by Democratic interests, a lie that conspiracy theorists and Republicans like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) have spread about Soros by name.
At an official White House event following the bombings, Trump repeated a chant of "Lock him up" from the crowd that was directed at Soros.
Trump has made it clear he has no intention of stopping his campaign of lies that feed the ancient hatred that Schiff describes — and elected Republicans have shown little interest in calling him out for it.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.