American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said Monday that President Trump was to blame for a reported rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S.
"Anti-Defamation League data: anti-Semitic incidents grew >30% in US in 2016 -surging in Nov/Dec & jumping 90 % in Jan-Mar2017-#trumpeffect," Weingarten tweeted Monday morning. Weingarten is a personal friend of Hillary Clinton's, and has been a fierce critic of Trump since he went into politics.
Weingarten was referencing a press release Monday by the Anti-Defamation League, which also cited a rise in anti-Semitism since the election. "In its annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, ADL reports that there has been a massive increase in the amount of harassment of American Jews, particularly since November, and a doubling in the amount of anti-Semitic bullying and vandalism at non-denominational K-12 grade schools."
"The 2016 presidential election and the heightened political atmosphere played a role in the increase. There were 34 incidents linked to the election," it added. "For example, in Denver, graffiti posted in May 2016 said 'Kill the Jews, Vote Trump.' In November, a St. Petersburg, Fla., man was accosted by someone who told him 'Trump is going to finish what Hitler started.'"
The ADL release did not say that Trump had specifically provoked the incidents. In a post earlier this month, the group noted an "online campaign of anti-Semitism has been directed at Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and advisor over the past week."
During the election, Weingarten worked with the Democratic National Committee to push the argument that Trump was behind a reported rise in bullying at schools, relying on a report that its authors admitted was not scientific.