Donald Trump reportedly said “sometimes it’s the reverse” when asked about the wave of recent anti-Semitic incidents across the country.
Trump made the comments to a group of state attorneys general on Tuesday.
“He just said, ‘Sometimes it’s the reverse, to make people — or to make others — look bad,’ and he used the word ‘reverse,’ I would say two to three times in his comments,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro told BuzzFeed after the meeting.
“He did correctly say at the top that it was reprehensible.”
Shapiro said Trump would be speaking about the issue during his address to Congress on Tuesday night.
“I really don’t know what he means, or why he said that,” Shapiro said, adding that he hopes the president will clarify the remark.
“It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.”
White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it was a private conversation and she was not there and could not confirm the veracity of the comments.
“He’s been extremely clear and extremely consistent on that topic. Any act of violence against people of the Jewish faith is condemned by this administration. Full stop,” Sanders added.
The CEO of the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement the organization is “astonished” by the president’s comments.
“It is incumbent upon the White House to immediately clarify these remarks. In light of the ongoing attacks on the Jewish community, it is also incumbent upon the president to lay out in his speech tonight his plans for what the federal government will do to address this rash of anti-Semitic incidents.”