Pelosi: 'No taint' of anti-Semitism in Democratic Party

Pelosi: 'No taint' of anti-Semitism in Democratic Party
© Stefani Reynolds

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money — House pushes toward infrastructure vote US mayors, Black leaders push for passage of bipartisan infrastructure bill Lawmakers say innovation, trade rules key to small business gains MORE (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that there is "no taint" of anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party amid allegations against the party and individual lawmakers. 

"We have no taint of that in the Democratic Party, and just because they want to accuse somebody of that doesn't mean ... that we take that bait," Pelosi said in an interview with CNN. 

She called out President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE for his allegations that the party is "anti-Jewish," saying the president is "bankrupt of any ideas" when he uses such accusations to undermine her party. 

Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarHolding back on defensive systems for Israel could have dangerous consequences The Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio Pentagon 'aware' of reports Wisconsin military base's struggle to feed, heat Afghan refugees MORE (D-Minn.) has recently faced allegations of anti-Semitism after she tweeted earlier this year that support for Israel was "all about the Benjamins," and later said pro-Israel groups “push for allegiance to a foreign country." The comments drew backlash from lawmakers in both parties, with House Republicans calling for Omar to be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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Omar apologized for and deleted at least one of the controversial tweets, saying she did not intend to offend Jewish Americans or her constituents. She also pointed out the "problematic role of lobbyists in our politics" and called on her colleagues to address it. 

Pelosi defended Omar after her comment about "allegiance," acknowledging that it may have been insensitive, but saying that she did not believe Omar meant it that way. 

"I feel confident that her words were not based on any anti-Semitic attitude, but that she didn't have a full appreciation of how they landed on other people, where these words have a history and a cultural impact that may have been unknown," Pelosi said last month. 

Trump, meanwhile, has accused the Democratic Party of being "anti-Jewish" after the House passed a resolution condemning hate in general rather than specifically targeting Omar's comments.  

In recent elections, Jewish voters have overwhelmingly supported Democrats. During the 2018 midterms, 79 percent of Jewish voters surveyed said they voted for Democrats, while 17 percent said they voted for Republicans, according to CNN exit polling

Pelosi's comments come as anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise in the U.S. and globally. A new Pew survey released this week found that the portion of the population who say Jewish Americans face discrimination has increased 20 percentage points since late 2016, with Democrats more likely than Republicans to say there is discrimination against Jews.