US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on August 20, 2019. Getty Images
Washington — Supporters of President Trump said he was only joking when he told them that “I could shoot a Jew on Fifth Avenue, and you’d still vote for me.”
Members of Republican Jews for Trump said the president’s words were meant in jest, and were received with laughter by those attending Sunday’s event at the Polo, Fox Hunt and Mah Jongg Club of West Palm Beach, Fla.
“You have to appreciate the president’s sense of humor,” said Lawrence Imglick, a longtime Trump supporter since Nov. 8, 2016. “I think what he meant was that he was grateful for our support, and that even though we are Jewish he respected our judgment.”
“C’mon – I don’t think someone who has Jewish grandchildren meant any harm when, for example, he said we are vicious sharks who really drive a hard bargain,” said Danya Hitziger, who wore a red “Make Israel Great Again” hat. “Or when he told the joke about the greedy Jewish banker who conspires with Macron to control the Federal Reserve: We knew he was gently ribbing us and our French ally.”
The president used his appearance at the Jewish condo community to boast about moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, to remind supporters that he cut off aid to the Palestinians, and to praise Alan Dershowitz as “a tough, tough guy – people say he’s my Shylock.”