Trump blasts Tlaib over Holocaust comments, accuses her of 'tremendous hatred'
President Trump joined the chorus of criticism Monday against freshman Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib over her recent remarks about the Holocaust.
"Democrat Rep. Tlaib is being slammed for her horrible and highly insensitive statement on the Holocaust. She obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people," Trump tweeted. "Can you imagine what would happen if I ever said what she said, and says?"
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The president's remarks came as fellow Republicans called for Democratic leaders to "take action" against their colleague from Michigan.
Tlaib, who is Palestinian-American, discussed the Holocaust on the Yahoo News podcast "Skullduggery."
"There’s always kind of a calming feeling, I tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people's passports," Tlaib said on the most recent episode, which was put out Friday. "And, just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time. And, I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways, but they did it in a way that took their human dignity away and it was forced on them."
The state of Israel was formed three years after the end of the Holocaust, although historians have pointed out that modern migration to the region had started decades earlier. The area was named Palestine at the time, although it was under British control.
Tlaib's use of the phrase "calming feeling" in reference to the aftermath of the Holocaust is what has drawn backlash.
"There is no justification for the twisted and disgusting comments made by Rashida Tlaib just days after the annual Day of Holocaust Remembrance," House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said in a statement. "More than six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust; there is nothing 'calming' about that fact."
On Monday, Tlaib accused Trump and other Republicans of having "twisted and misconstrued my words to spread falsehoods rooted in hate.
"Trump has doubled down on his party’s use of the Holocaust to score political points. Instead of recognizing that the accusations against me are false and that my words have been blatantly misconstrued, Trump has once again used his platform to incite hate and violence based on lies," she said in a statement. "This is yet another attempt by the administration and the GOP to try to distract from their horrible policies, lawless acts, and actual anti-Semitic rhetoric."
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Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar. D-Minn., have both come under fire for alleged anti-Semitism since joining Congress earlier this year. In past remarks, Omar has said that Israel has "hypnotized" the world to be blind to Israel's "evil doings," and has alleged that American support for the Jewish state is based on money. She has since apologized for those comments.
Fox News' Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report.