Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) responded on Wednesday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) criticism of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and her remarks that have been deemed anti-Semitic by some.
Jeffries, who is the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, condemned anti-Semitism in both the House of Representatives and the White House amidst controversies in the Democratic party.
“Let me just generally say: There is not a rise in anti-Semitism in the House of Representatives, there is a rise of anti-Semitic behavior and activity and violence in the country and it’s irresponsible for Mitch McConnell to try to politicize this issue,” Jeffries stated.
He continued, explaining, “Anti-Semitism isn’t a political issue, it’s an issue that we all need to collectively address and do it in a non-partisan way and not fan the flames of division by trying to promote Mitch McConnell’s political agenda — that’s the height of irresponsibility.”
Jeffries went on to question why McConnell had not criticized “hateful remarks” from President Donald Trump:
“And when has he ever said anything about the hateful remarks that continue to float out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? When has he ever said anything about that?”
Watch the video below:
Hey Mitch, you have NEVER spoken up about the tidal wave of hatred from the so-called President.
Don’t ever lecture @HouseDemocrats about intolerance.
We will handle our business.
And you can PIPE DOWN. pic.twitter.com/L7v6NV7yXd
— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) March 6, 2019
“And so we’re not going to be lectured by Mitch McConnell on anything and that shameless behavior must be discontinued,” Jeffries claimed.
The remarks from Jeffries come after McConnell criticized the freshman class of House Democrats on Tuesday, according to The Hill, stating:
“Now, this is a good time for America to think again about anti-Semitism. It seems to be more fashionable in Europe, it seems to be more fashionable in this country, regretfully, among at least some members of the new class in the House.”
Many newly-elected Democrats were quick to challenge McConnell’s assertions, including Rep. Abigail Spanberger who stated, “I think a man who hasn’t met any of us can’t really comment on the positions of the freshman class.”
“I think that it is incredibly detrimental to the cause of fighting such a scourge that someone would seek to, in fact, politically capitalize on this terrible trend and increase that we’ve seen throughout some of our communities,” she added.