Trump reportedly says anti-Semitic attacks may be done to make others 'look bad'
US President Donald Trump has said that anti-Semitic attacks and bomb threats to community centres may be carried out to "to make others - look bad," Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro told Buzzfeed.
Shapiro who was meeting with the president along with other officials asked Trump about the increase of bias attacks against the Jewish communities, including vandalism of a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
"Sometimes it's the reverse, to make people - or to make others - look bad," Trump said, according to Shapiro.
The Pennsylvania attorney general added that Trump used the word "reverse" several times.
Shapiro said he did not understand the meaning of Trump's comments. "It didn't make a whole lot of sense to me," he said.
While social media users rushed to denounce Trump for supposedly hinting that some of the attacks may be made up, this is not the first time that the president has made this suggestion.
"And some of it - can I be honest with you?" Trump told a reporter who asked him about anti-Semitism. "And this has to do with racism and horrible things that are put up.
"Some of it written by our opponents. You do know that. Do you understand that? You don’t think anybody would do a thing like that. Some of the signs you’ll see are not put up by the people that love or like Donald Trump, they’re put up by the other side, and you think it’s like playing it straight?"
The White House challenged Shapiro’s account.
“This is not what he said or meant,” a White House spokesperson told the NY Daily News in an email. The White House official said the president was referring to protesters.
The Anti-Defamation League said it was “astonished” by the comments calling on Trump to immediately clarify his remarks.
"In light of the ongoing attacks on the Jewish community, it is also incumbent upon the President to lay out in his speech tonight his plans for what the federal government will do to address this rash of anti-Semitic incidents," ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement.