Trump encouraged Jews to defect from the Democratic Party at the same time news of a terrorist attack at a pair of New Zealand mosques unfolded.
Presidents usually call for unity in the wake of terror attacks.
But not Trump.
As news unfolded of a horrific terrorist attack in New Zealand — where a white supremacist with anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant views killed at least 49 worshippers at a pair of mosques — Trump instead tweeted a call for Jews to abandon the Democratic party.
"The 'Jexodus' movement encourages Jewish people to leave the Democrat Party," Trump tweeted. "Total disrespect! Republicans are waiting with open arms. Remember Jerusalem (U.S. Embassy) and the horrible Iran Nuclear Deal! @OANN @foxandfriends"
The tweet came less than 25 minutes after Trump commented on the New Zealand terrorist attack, issuing a bland statement that didn't address the Muslim community writ large — which was the target of the disturbing terrorist attack.
"My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques," Trump tweeted. "49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!"
Former presidents already made statements condemning hate in the wake of the bigoted terrorist attack.
"Michelle and I send our condolences to the people of New Zealand," former President Barack Obama tweeted. "We grieve with you and the Muslim community. All of us must stand against hatred in all its forms."
Michelle and I send our condolences to the people of New Zealand. We grieve with you and the Muslim community. All of us must stand against hatred in all its forms.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 15, 2019
It remains to be seen whether Trump will make any more statements on the attacks throughout the day. Trump has no public events scheduled, though he is slated to meet with national security officials in Arlington, Virginia, at 11 a.m.
But the fact that Trump was sowing religious division at the same time the world was watching in horror as New Zealand responded to a terrorist attack fueled by religious hatred does not bode well for a measured or unifying response.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.