At a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, Donald Trump was asked by a reporter whether his rhetoric may have been a contributing factor to the US’s recent rise in hate crimes.
The journalist specifically asked for Trump's thoughts on the sharp rise in anti-Semitic crimes, and remarked that many members of the Jewish community feel that his administration was "playing with xenophobia and racist tones".
And Trump's answer... Well, it's completely baffling.
Here it is, in full:
Well, I just want to say that we are, you know, very honoured by the victory that we had. 306 electoral college votes. We were not supposed to crack 220. You know that, right? There was no way to 221 but then they said there’s no way to 270. And there’s tremendous enthusiasm out there.
I will say that we are going to have peace in this country. We are going to stop crime in this country. We are going to do everything within our power to stop long-simmering racism and every other thing that’s going on, because a lot of bad things have been taking place over a long period of time. I think one of the reasons I won the election is because we have a very, very divided nation. Very divided, and hopefully, I’ll be able to do something about that. And I—you know, it's something that was very important to me.
As far as people, Jewish people—so many friends, a daughter who happens to be here right now. A son-in-law, and three beautiful grandchildren. I think that you’re going to see a lot of different United States of America over the next three, four, or eight years. I think a lot of good things are happening and you’re going to see a lot of love. You’re going to see a lot of love. OK? Thank you.