Steven Goldstein, the Anne Frank Center’s executive director appeared on CNN Tuesday night and outwardly accused the Trump administration of anti-Semetism, after being called out in a press conference with Sean Spicer.
CNN commentator Kayleigh McEnany asked Goldstein if he thought President Trump was truly anti-Semetic, when Goldstein bounced back with his confirmation: “You bet.”
This started off a very serious conversation that got out of hand. Goldstein’s comment may have been too much for even those on CNN, when other panelists began to argue with Goldstein.
When other guests began to point out the ways President Trump had stood up against anti-Semetism and in favor of Israel, not to mention the fact that Ivanka Trump is Jewish, Goldstein shot back: “You know what, Kayleigh? I am tired of commentators like you on the right trotting out his daughter, trotting out his son-in-law as talking points against the president’s anti-Semitism. They are Jewish, but that is not a talking point against anti-Semitism, and that is a disgrace. Have you no ethics?”
You can see the full clip here.
The Washington Post details the segment:
The back-and-forth over Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s Jewishness made good television, but the real substance of the disagreement between McEnany and Goldstein came down to a recurring question about Trump: Are his denunciations of hatred good enough?
Fifty-three Jewish community centers in 26 states have received threatening calls this year, and more than 170 Jewish gravestones were toppled at a cemetery in suburban St. Louis over the weekend. Trump, who often tweets his reactions to news events immediately, did not address the incidents until Tuesday, when he said that “the anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”
“Time and again this president has had an opportunity to condemn anti-Semitism,” Goldstein said on CNN. “He had a chance to include Jews in [a] Holocaust remembrance. He didn’t. He had a chance to speak out against the desecration of Jewish cemeteries this weekend. He didn’t. He had a chance to speak out against bomb threats against JCCs, and he didn’t.”
The White House is clearly frustrated by media critiques of the way Trump handles these responses.
“I think he has been very forceful with his denunciation of people who seek to attack people because of their hate — excuse me, because of their religion, because of their gender, because of the color of their skin,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said during his Tuesday news briefing. “And it is something that he is going to continue to fight and make very, very clear that it has no place in this administration. But I think that it’s ironic that no matter how many times he talks about this, that it’s never good enough.”