NYT Editorial on Trump's anti-Semitism Answers: 'As if His Brain Had Short-circuited'

On two occasions, Trump missed the chance to denounce anti-Semitism by either sidestepping the question, blasting the reporter or 'playing the ace card': Netanyahu.

U.S. President Donald Trump walks with grandchildren Arabella and Joseph Kushner to board Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House on February 17, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Mandel Ngan, AFP

The New York Times slammed U.S. President Donald Trump in its Thursday editorial for his reaction to two reporters asking him about anti-Semitism. 

During Trump's joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, an Israeli reporter asked Trump about the rise of anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S. and the administration's possible role in encouraging racism. Any other politician, the Times wrote, would use the opportunity to condemn such behavior. "Mr. Trump, alas, is not that politician," the newspaper wrote. Instead, he bypassed the question by focusing on himself. "It was as if his brain had short-circuited or someone had hit some internal replay button in his brain," the Times wrote.

The Times also accused Trump of exploiting the Jewish members of his family – his daughter, Ivanka, her husband, Jared Kusher and their children – "to  bolster his credibility" during the press conference. 

In the second incident a day later, an ultra-Orthodox reporter asked Trump what his administration is prepared to do against anti-Semitism. After cutting the reporter off mid-question, Trump "played his ace card" by mentioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Times wrote, "who one day earlier awarded Mr. Trump his personal imprimatur and political cover by declaring 'there is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state' than the new American president."