President Trump on Tuesday suggested Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats either lack the requisite knowledge or show “great disloyalty,” amid the escalation of the war of words with Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar over Israel.
Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office about his feud with the two Muslim congresswomen, the president accused Tlaib and Omar of being anti-Semitic and argued they “hate” Israel and Jewish people.
"I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat -- I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty," Trump said.
The president said Omar “is a disaster for Jewish people,” and lamented “what Omar has said, what Tlaib has said” about Israel. He argued that the Democrats' embrace of Omar, who is from Minnesota, and Tlaib, who is from Michigan, spoke to how the party has changed.
“Where has the Democratic Party gone?” Trump said. “Where have they gone -- where they are defending these two people over the state of Israel?”
Omar on Tuesday responded to Trump’s comments by tweeting just a face palm emoji.
Democrats called Trump out for his use of the word "disloyalty."
"At a time when anti-Semitic incidents have increased -- due to the president's emboldening of white nationalism -- Trump is repeating an anti-Semitic trope," Halie Soifer, the executive Director of Jewish Democratic Council of America, said in a statement.
But a prominent Jewish Republican group backed Trump's language up.
"President Trump is right, it shows a great deal of disloyalty to oneself to defend a party that protects/emboldens people that hate you for your religion," tweeted the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Tlaib and Omar, who have been in the news over Israel’s decision to impose significant restrictions over their planned visit, held a news conference Monday in protest. Omar and Tlaib have been outspoken critics of Israeli policies and have expressed support for boycotts of the country. They also have been known for their anti-Trump activism.
“It is an affront that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, under pressure from President Trump, would deny entry to representatives of the U.S. government,” Omar said of the decision to stop her from traveling to Israel. “Trump’s Muslim ban is what Israel is implementing, this time against two duly elected members of Congress.”
An emotional Tlaib held back tears during the news conference as she discussed her experiences visiting Jerusalem as a child.
“As a young girl visiting Palestine to see my grandparents and extended family, I watched as my mother had to go through dehumanizing checkpoints – even though she was a United States citizen and a proud American,” she said.
Earlier Monday, the White House accused them both of anti-Semitism.
“Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have a well-documented history of anti-Semitic comments, anti-Semitic social media posts and anti-Semitic relationships,” said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley.
“Israel has the right to prevent people who want to destroy it from entering the country – and Democrats’ pointless congressional inquiries here in America cannot change the laws Israel has passed to protect itself.”
Fox News' Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report.