When Donald Trump takes the stage at the Republican Jewish Coalition Summit tomorrow, his recent slaps in the face to the Jewish community will undoubtedly be the elephant in the room. New reporting from MSNBC takes a look back at Trump’s first RJC appearance as a presidential candidate – and how his recent controversies will make it all too easy for the Jewish community to see right through his lies this weekend.
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MSNBC: Gathering of Republican Jews evokes a cringey Trump moment
October 27, 2023
- The first time Donald Trump appeared before the Republican Jewish Coalition as a presidential candidate, in late 2015, it didn’t go well.
- A lot has changed since then. But one thing that hasn’t is Trump’s seemingly tenuous relationship with American Jews — which makes his scheduled appearance at this year’s RJC leadership summit all the more interesting and awkward.
- At the 2015 forum, Trump told a room full of wealthy Jewish donors: “I’m a negotiator like you folks; we’re negotiators.” He added: “Is there anybody that doesn’t renegotiate deals in this room? This room negotiates … perhaps more than any room I’ve ever spoken to.”
- He went on to tell the group, “You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money,” and he also said: “You want to control your own politician.” The comments were widely seen as playing on antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories.
- Since then, Trump has received significant support from Jewish voters despite multiple controversies, including his excuse-ridden response to the deadly neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. But more recent controversies — like Trump’s dinner with Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes and fellow hatemonger Ye or his personal attack on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu amid the Israel-Hamas war — have earned slight pushback from higher-ups in the coalition.
- With the Israel-Hamas war raging on, a speech in front of Republican Jews could present a prime opportunity for the other candidates to rake the former president over the coals. And there’s arguably no better audience for it than the RJC, whose members have already seen Trump’s disturbing interactions with the Jewish community up close.