Eric Trump appeared this morning on Fox and Friends in an attempt to play down criticism of his father.
At one point he described Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House, as a “sensational nonsense book.” He followed up by saying that the book’s dramatic quotes about Trump’s instincts is a cash grab and “will mean you sell three extra books, you make three extra shekels.”
Woodward isn’t Jewish but Trump’s use of the word shekels — Israel’s currency — raised some eyebrows among viewers. The word is sometimes used in a discriminatory fashion by anti-Semites.
On Twitter, critics called him out, saying “it’s insane,” “outrageous,” and “incredibly anti-Semitic and intentional.”
It's insane that Eric Trump said "three extra shekels" on Fox this morning. https://t.co/tNfP0sr7QA
— Christopher Mathias (@letsgomathias) September 12, 2018
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
Eric Trump saying Woodward wrote his book to make “three extra shekels” is incredibly anti-semitic & intentional.
There’s no reason to refer to an Israeli money unit other than to resort to hate-mongering stereotypes of a “greedy Jewish media.”
Red meat for the deplorable base.
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) September 12, 2018
And it wasn’t only people on the left, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro called it “garbage,” and the New York Post’s op-ed editor Seth Mandel called it “crap.”
Keener grammar critics also poked fun at Trump’s incorrect use of the word behest (“it will mean you sell three extra books, you make three extra shekels at the behest of the American people, at the behest of our country”), which Merriam-Webster defines as “an authoritative order.”
Trump seems to mean behest as either “contrary to” or “at the risk of” — but either way, it’s not going to help his reputation as a dunce.
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