By Jim Acosta, Brian Rokus and Paul LeBlanc, CNN
Former President Donald Trump asked whether a documentary filmmaker interviewing him last year was a “good Jewish character,” according to the filmmaker and video obtained by CNN.
The 60-second clip, which was recorded in May 2021 at Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club and first reported by The New York Times, shows the former President as he spoke with several people off-camera. In the clip, he told documentary filmmaker Alex Holder “don’t let it roll” as he converses with a woman who approached him with a comment about his support among Jewish voters.
Following a jump in the video clip, Trump is shown boasting about an executive order he signed in 2019 that recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights before pointing to Holder and asking, “Is this a good Jewish character right here?”
“I am,” Holder responds.
“You’ve got to love Trump,” the former President continued. “In Israel, I’m the most popular. With Orthodox, I’m the most popular.”
At another point in Holder’s footage, Trump asks someone else: “Are you Persian?”
“My parents were from Iran,” the person says.
“Be careful, they’re very good sales[men],” Trump replies as the clip cuts off.
CNN has reached out to representatives for Trump for comment.
Holder, a British documentary filmmaker, had access to Trump and his family in the weeks after the election. The short clip of Trump’s comments are an outtake of footage for his documentary, “Unprecedented.”
Just this week, Trump criticized American Jews for what he argued was their insufficient praise of his policies toward Israel, warning that they need to “get their act together” before “it is too late!”
The suggestion, made on Trump’s social media platform Truth Social, plays into the antisemitic trope that US Jews have dual loyalties to the US and to Israel, and it drew immediate condemnation.
Those comments echo an argument he has made before. In an interview last December, the former President argued that Jewish Americans “either don’t like Israel or don’t care about Israel,” and also repeated his claim that evangelicals “love Israel more than the Jews in this country.”
Additionally, during his first campaign for president, Trump delivered a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition that was rife with antisemitic stereotypes.
A Pew Research survey released in 2021 found that 45% of Jewish adults in the US viewed caring about Israel as “essential” to what being Jewish means, with an additional 37% saying it was “important, but not essential.” Only 16% said caring about Israel was “not important.”
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