Feb. 21 (UPI) — President Donald Trump denounced bigotry and racism on Tuesday, and decried recent threats against Jewish community centers across the country during a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Speaking during his first visit to the museum as president Trump said, “”Today and every day of my presidency I pledge to do everything I can to continue that promise of freedom for African-Americans and for every American,” Trump said, calling his tour “a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry and hatred and intolerance.”
He also made reference to recent hoax bomb threats at Jewish centers across the nation as well as vandalism at a Jewish cemetery.
“This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms. 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.”
At least 11 bomb threats were called in to Jewish community centers in seven states on Monday, the fourth time this year that hoax calls were received by multiple centers. Each center was evacuated and searched. Additionally, a Jewish cemetery in Missouri was vandalized Monday, with more than 100 headstones overturned or damaged in what officials said could be considered a hate crime pending an investigation.
Trump’s comments came after the Anti-Defamation League called for his administration to take action regarding threats to the Jewish community centers. At a press conference last week, Trump deflected a question about the incidents to defend himself against suggestions that he personally holds anti-Semitic feelings. On Tuesday, when asked a question if he denounced anti-Semitism “once and for all,” Trump responded, “Oh, of course. And I do it, whenever I get a chance, I do it.”