The president’s son appeared on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday morning and denounced Woodward’s book, Fear: Trump in the White House, as fiction.
It all started when co-host Steve Doocy noted that the book and last week’s anonymous New York Times op-ed criticizing the president as amoral and vapid have stirred fresh chaos in the White House.
Eric Trump pushed back, saying the media only wants to make his dad look bad.
“Don’t you think people look through the fact, you can write some sensational, nonsense book, CNN will definitely have you on there because they love to trash the president,” Trump said.
Then, in what some people interpret as a dog whistle to white nationalists, Trump added:
It’ll mean you sell three extra books, you make three extra shekels, at the behest of the American people, at the behest of our country, that’s doing a phenomenal job by every quantifiable metric. Is that really where we are?
The shekel is the currency used in both ancient and modern-day Israel. Keegan Hankes, senior research analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, which tracks hate groups, noted that the term also can be used as a slur.
“Shekels is a derogatory term used by white supremacists that ties into the myth that Jewish people only care about money,” Hankes told HuffPost. The term is tied to the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Jews control the financial system, he said, and is “used constantly by the extreme right and particularly neo-Nazis.”
Trump’s use of the word on Fox News “certainly seems like a dog whistle,” Hankes added.
Watch Trump on “Fox & Friends” below.
ERIC TRUMP attacks Democrats: "Anti-law enforcement, high taxes, and elimination of plastic straws is not a message that will win in November."— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 12, 2018
ERIC TRUMP then dismisses WOODWARD book as "sensational nonsense" he wrote "to make 3 extra shekels." pic.twitter.com/GuTXMpPLHG
Unsurprisingly, Trump was heavily criticized on Twitter:
Outrageous. If you want to see how the neo-Nazis use the term "shekels" take a quick glance at The Daily Stormer. Eric Trump’s ‘three extra shekels’ attack on Bob Woodward is not some accident any more than Hillary Clinton's image over a Star of David. https://t.co/DyJTcqyX4H— (((JonathanWeisman))) (@jonathanweisman) September 12, 2018
I can't think of any reason--other than the odious one--why Eric Trump would use "shekels" instead of "dollars," "bucks," "clams," "greenbacks," or "smackers." https://t.co/5iKsniwPrY— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) September 12, 2018
Um, wow. The only people who refer to being paid off as wanting "extra shekels" are Israelis speaking Hebrew and anti-Semites speaking English outside Israel. Eric Trump doesn't speak Hebrew, so you know exactly who he has been reading online. https://t.co/evuub9L1xV— (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) September 12, 2018
"Three extra shekels"— Silence is Political (@kayforaday) September 12, 2018
Damn, that is some top shelf antisemitism.
As opposed to the extra rubles the Trump family deals in.— Diane Wells (@dianelwe) September 12, 2018
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.