Trump reportedly told RNC donors at Mar-a-Lago 'the Democrats hate Jewish people,' denied 'Tim Apple' slip

Trump arrives back in Washington
(Image credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump spoke at a Republican National Committee meeting at his Mar-a-Lago club on Friday night, and there is no video or audio because security guards made the GOP donors attending the event wear their cellphones in magnetized bags inside the club, Axios reported Sunday. But Trump still made some comments memorable enough to survive the phone ban, three attendees tell Axios' Jonathan Swan.

Fox example, Trump reportedly denied calling Tim Cook "Tim Apple," claiming that video of his comments did not capture the really fast "Cook" he slipped in between "Tim" and "Apple." ("I just thought, why would you lie about that," one of the donors told Swan. "It doesn't even matter!") He came up with new nicknames for 2020 Democratic challengers. And Trump said that "the Democrats hate Jewish people," according to Axios' sources. Swan paraphrases:

Trump said he didn't understand how any Jew could vote for a Democrat these days. Trump talked about how much he'd done for Israel, noting his historic decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Trump said if he could run to be prime minister of Israel, he'd be at 98 percent in the polls. [Axios]

Trump's broadside was prompted by arguably anti-Semitic comments by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and the resolution by House Democrats to condemn anti-Semitism and other hate but not Omar.

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Trump's hands aren't exactly spotless when it comes to perceived anti-Semitism, Matt Taylor notes at Vice. The fight over Omar's comments "has broken down along complicated lines," he argues, "but what we shouldn't lose sight of in this thorny debate — about Israel and its government, about Palestine, about anti-Jewish hate, and about lobbying in Washington — is that Donald Trump does not give a sh-t about anti-Semitism," and for him "to suggest the opposition — the party that includes almost every Jewish member of Congress — is 'anti-Jewish' is a new low. Yes, even for him."

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.