Doug Emhoff Calls Trump a ‘Known Antisemite’ as Biden Team Steps Up Attacks


Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, called former President Donald J. Trump “a known antisemite” in a video released on Tuesday, a notable escalation of attacks by President Biden’s campaign against Mr. Trump over his language about Jews.

Mr. Emhoff’s remarks came in an afternoon social media post by the Biden campaign with the anodyne title “Second Gentleman @DouglasEmhoff responds to Trump attacking Jewish Americans.”

“The last person I’m going to take advice from as a Jewish person is a known antisemite who’s had dinner with antisemites, who said there was ‘good people on both sides’ after Charlottesville,” Mr. Emhoff says in the video, after he apparently watches a weeks-old video of Mr. Trump proclaiming that Jews who vote for Mr. Biden “have to have their head examined.”

Mr. Emhoff adds for emphasis, “He’s the last person I’m going to take advice from.”

The Biden campaign has been seeking to extend a news cycle that began this week when Mr. Trump posted, then later took down, a video on social media that included old-time newspaper headlines saying a victory by him in November would bring about a “unified Reich.” Mr. Biden, in a video released by his campaign, accused Mr. Trump of using “Hitler’s language.”

The Biden campaign and its surrogates have previously condemned Mr. Trump for using antisemitic language. Two weeks ago, a Biden campaign spokesman, Charles Lutvak, blasted Mr. Trump for employing “patronizing antisemitic shtick” after the former president said Jews who voted for Mr. Biden “should be ashamed of themselves.”

Mr. Trump has long flirted with antisemitic language and imagery, and shown support for far-right backers who are openly antisemitic.

In 2016, his campaign posted and then deleted an image of Hillary Clinton, then his general-election rival, with a pile of cash and the words “most corrupt candidate ever” inside a Star of David. Once in office, he infamously declared that there were “very fine people” on both sides of the 2017 rally involving neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va. Days after announcing his 2024 campaign, Mr. Trump dined at Mar-a-Lago with Nick Fuentes, an outspoken antisemite and racist who is one of the country’s most prominent young white supremacists.

Yet it is Mr. Biden who has lately found himself in a political vise involving American Jews. His support for Israel’s government after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, which killed more than 1,200 people, has led to fierce criticism from Arab and Muslim Americans, progressives and other Democrats as the reported death toll in Gaza has swelled to more than 34,000 Palestinians. More recently, he has been called anti-Israel for announcing that he would pause the shipment of some weapons to the country.

Meanwhile, American college campuses were racked this spring with encampments and demonstrations against the war in Gaza, and Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris have been dogged for months by protests over the conflict. On Tuesday, as Ms. Harris spoke to union members at a Philadelphia convention center, about three dozen people in the back of the event chanted pro-Palestinian slogans and held up signs that said “workers rise up” and “free Palestine.”

Mr. Trump’s campaign spokesman, Steven Cheung, did not directly respond to Mr. Emhoff’s remarks in the Tuesday video. Instead, he sought to tie the protests against Israel’s war in Gaza to Mr. Biden while painting opposition to the war as antisemitic.

“Joe Biden is responsible for all this antisemitic hate on campuses across the country,” Mr. Cheung said. “Whereas there has been no bigger friend to Israel and the Jewish people than President Trump, and his strong record reflects that.”

Nicholas Nehamas contributed reporting from Philadelphia.

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