Senator Bernie Sanders hit back at President Donald Trump for his comments that Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats have a “lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” The Hill reported.
“I am a proud Jewish person, and I have no concerns about voting Democratic,” Sanders said to a cheering crowd at a rally in Sioux City, Iowa.
“And in fact, I intend to vote for a Jewish man to become the next president of the United States,” he added.
The remarks by Sanders, who is running for the Democratic nomination, came shortly after the President told reporters, “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
It was unclear to whom or what he was claiming Jewish Democratic voters were disloyal, but the comments were made as he was discussing Israel’s decision to ban Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.) from visiting the Middle Eastern nation over their support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
The comments were quickly condemned by left-leaning Jewish groups that said the President was playing off anti-Semitic tropes suggesting Jewish Americans have dual loyalty.
The Republican Jewish Coalition defended the President’s remarks.
Trump had urged Israel to ban Tlaib and Omar, two of his most vocal critics in the House, before the nation officially announced it would bar the Muslim American lawmakers from visiting.