During a softball interview on CNN Tuesday afternoon, Steven Goldstein, director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect bashed and lambasted President Donald Trump for his statement that morning denouncing bigotry, especially anti-Semitism, and pinned recent Jew hatred on Trump's campaign, and now, administration. Beforehand, a panel on the network's Inside Politics discussed Trump's campaign and presidency's possible affect on hate crimes against Jews.
On CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin Goldstein said, "Our president is creating an incubator of hatred. When you don't respond to anti-Semitism as well as Islamophobia and racism in a real time, when you wait days and sometimes week to respond to attacks, you are sending a signal to the haters that hate is okay."
Goldstein said, "Brooke, these incidents didn't occur to the same extent before President Trump took office. So, of course, we see a night and day difference. The night and day difference began with his election -- accelerated with his inauguration."
"I want him to fire [Chief Strategist] Steve Bannon. Second, I want the President to give a major address to anti-Semitism to the far right that is responsible for anti-Semitism in his administration. And I want him to appoint an independent commission with members appointed by Congress that will look at anti-Semitism apart from the President’s influence," Goldstein added.
The discussion came in the midst of almost a dozen Jewish community centers temporarily closing after receiving phone threats, which were later deemed as a hoax. At the African American History Museum earlier in the day, the President remarked that the threatening calls to Jewish communities "horrible" and "painful."
However, the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect was not satisfied. "MR. PRESIDENT, YOUR [sic] TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE ACKNOWLEGMENT OF #Antisemitism TODAY IS NOT ENOUGH," the New York-based center posted in a typo-laden statement on Facebook. "[Trump's] statement today is a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting Antisemitism, yet day after day have refused to apologize and correct the record.”
Five hours later after posting the statement, Goldstein said on CNN, "
A few hours beforehand, the Inside Politics panel-- The Federalist's Mollie Hemingway, The Atlantic's Molly Ball, National Public Radio's Domenico Montanaro, and CNN political analyst Jeff Zeleny--discussed the latest anti-Semitic incidents, which includes a St. Louis Jewish cemetery vandalized Monday, and connected it to President Trump's reaction Tuesday morning.
"[In] today's other top stories, the Jewish Community Center Association says 48 senators in 26 states and one province received just shy of 60 bomb threats last month," host John King said. "You might recall President Trump got testy last week when he was asked about an increase in anti-Semitism, but this morning after a tour of the Smithsonian African-American History Museum, the president spoke out. You might recall President Trump got testy last week when he was asked about an increase in anti-Semitism, but this morning after a tour of the Smithsonian African-American History Museum, the president spoke out."
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King added, "I think it has nothing to do with the subject matter. If you ask Donald Trump a question about do you like puppies, sometimes he just takes it -- I don't mean to be flippant about it, but he takes questions that people are looking for a presidential statement to help unite the country or say something as the president, and he is always thinking in the back of his mind, you are trying to somehow say I'm responsible for this."
Here is the February 21 exchange on CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin:
CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin
3:47:16 PM – 3:59:59 PM
BROOKE BALDWIN: President Trump has spoke out now against anti-Semitism after a wave of threats and attacks of Jewish centers across the country, here is one quote from the Anne Frank Center, the President's sudden acknowledgment is a Band-Aid on the cancer of anti-Semitism that's affected his own administration, his statement today is a pathetic condescension sense after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting anti-Semitism, yet day after day have refused to apologize and correct the record, make no mistake, the anti-Semitism coming out of this administration is the worst we have ever seen from any administration. Press Secretary Sean Spicer reacting to this statement.
[HIGHLIGHT OF WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING]
REPORTER: Saying these remarks while received are a Band-Aid on cancer within the Trump administration saying that whether there is -- otherwise a sense of xenophobia within the administration.
WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY SEAN SPICER: The President has made clear frankly going back to the campaign he is one who seeks to unite this country, he's brought people in positions people he has sought advice of, it's ironic no matter how many times he talks about this it's never good enough today was a forcible comment against the action on the actions targeted toward the Jewish centers, but it's pretty clear he wants to bring this country together and not divide people especially in those areas, I wish they had praised the president and hopefully as time continues to go by they recognize his commitment to civil rights, voting rights, quality for all Americans.
BALDWIN: Joining me now the executive director of the Anne Frank Museum for Mutual Respect and man behind that statement Steven Goldstein.
STEVEN GOLDSTEIN: Brooke, I'm furious, it's preposterous, he's never condemned it before today. Look at what happened this weekend. We had 170 attacks on Jewish graveyards in St. Louis, we had ten attacks on Jewish centers, where was the President? His silence was deafening, its purveyor is President Trump, nothing made a difference, it was just a Band-Aid, and his henchman Steve Bannon have done nothing to change the circumstances. Nothing.
BALDWIN: Guys, do we have the President Trump sound bite from this morning from the Smithsonian African-American museum? Because I hear you and before the reporter from Ami magazine was asked to sit down and be quiet last week when he didn't condemn the attacks, but he did today.
GOLDSTEIN: But here is the thing, Brooke. I love you Brooke, there has to be a firestorm for this president to respond, Brooke, he doesn't respond unless groups like mine just go crazy pleading, begging Mr. President condemn anti-Semitism. He doesn't do it.
BALDWIN: He did this morning. Just this morning. Here is the sound.
[HIGHLIGHT OF TRUMP’S AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MUSEUM REMARKS]
TRUMP: 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.
GOLDSTEIN: Is he going to fire Steve Bannon who is a notorious anti-Semite?
BALDWIN: What do you want him to do?
GOLDSTEIN: I want him to fire Steve Bannon. Second, I want the President to give a major address to anti-Semitism to the far right that is responsible for anti-Semitism in his administration. And I want him to appoint an independent commission with members appointed by Congress that will look at anti-Semitism apart from the President’s influence.
BALDWIN: What did you make of him shutting down Jake Turx last week at that news conference he had here in New York telling him to sit down that moment?
GOLDSTEIN: You know, the president has such a tin ear for symbolism of love and hate I our country. He couldn't even accept that there was a reporter who is Jewish, who is not controversial, who is not looking to be confrontational. Yet the president saw somebody dressed in a kipaa in Jewish garb and thought that person was going to be hostile. That says it all, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Why do you think these attacks shy of 60 since January in this country, why is this happening?
GOLDSTEIN: Because our president is creating an incubator of hatred. When you don't respond to anti-Semitism as well as Islamophobia and racism in a real time, when you wait days and sometimes week to respond to attacks, you are sending a signal to the haters that hate is okay.
BALDWIN: But you're putting this squarely on the President's shoulders, all of this.
GOLDSTEIN: Isn't that why we elect a president? Don't we elect a president to be the moral authority of leadership in this country? Brooke, these incidents didn't occur to the same extent before President Trump took office. So, of course, we see a night and day difference. The night and day difference began with his election -- accelerated with his inauguration.
BALDWIN: Steven Goldstein, I appreciate you hustling over here to come talk to me.
GOLDSTEIN: Thank you so much.
BALDWIN: Thank you for your response.