Trump under fire for comments about Jewish Democrats

David Harris, the CEO of the American Jewish Committee, discusses why Trump's comments attacking Jewish Democrats are "extremely, extremely troubling."
4:13 | 08/21/19

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Transcript for Trump under fire for comments about Jewish Democrats
But for more have a perspective on them for a president's politicization. Of Jewish voters in this country were joined by David Harris is the CEO of the American Jewish. A committee it's one of the largest and oldest Jewish advocacy groups in this country David thank you so much. For joining us from New York we should also say it's a nonpartisan. Our organization which has been party your message. It you've let the group since since 1990 if I'm correct it awarded you make of of these comments from the president when you heard them. DeVon they were extremely extremely troubling. By talking about issues of loyalty and disloyalty the president whether he knows that are not. Is evoking very toxic themes and reopening a very dark history we're Jews were often accused of being disloyal to the country where they lived. We Jews who live in the United States are blessed were American citizens and our loyalty is to this country the president should know that. What do you think he's trying to do here David do you have a sense of of why. This push is being made really to divide try to divide American Jews. Well it it's hard to get into the president's mind of course. But this is going to be a very close election. And it's going to be very heated election. And I suspect we're going to be seeing a lot more of these kinds of of of appeals forces in respect to Jews and an older communities. The president believes it is got a great record on Israel and in many respects many believe he does have a great reckon and Israel. He's trying to pick the Democratic Party as the faces of congresswomen Rasheed it to leave venue on Omar's. When in fact the Democratic Party is much bigger than the two of them. But he sees an opening here and he's he's trying to drive a truck through that opening. My guess is looking at states like Florida Ohio Pennsylvania where this can be. A lot of focus in the next election. We're real. Well comments like the president made. David. Today suggesting that his past support of Democrats support of people like we're she had to leave be on Omar who. Have faced their own criticism for anti Semitic. Language and statements. Does that it does that drop votes to him let me do do do agenda and I ask you speak from Jewish voters I suppose but I mean. I find it hard to put my mind around how anyone who has been supporting Democrats. For years. Would would simply hearing the president. Suddenly change their mind. Well according to our American Jewish Committee polls over many many years DeVon. Roughly 75%. Of American Jews and a typical presidential election will vote democratic. The number has dipped that's risen depending on the election and roughly 25% will vote Republican. I don't see the president's comments now was driving many people in. Away from their existing cap. Obviously we need to know who the Democratic Party kicked a candidate is that may or may not affect voting behavior. But all things being equal my guess is this will reinforce the president's base. But it will not change the minds of many on the other side who by the way may have their own qualms about the Democratic Party but not enough to jump ship quite yet. Have you had any kid communication at all with the White House David Harrison area are you looking to reach out to them on and some of the things you've heard covered from the present. Then as you sit at the out says we're we're nonpartisan organizations Sorin goal here is not. To politicize the issue were to weaponized in the context of the election quite the contrary. So what we have tried to explain to the White House why this is a toxic message why this is the wrong way to go the president wants to run as his record. In US Israel relations all power to me has every right to do so but to try and divide American Jews. Question their loyalty suggest that those who don't fall for him or somehow ignorant or disloyal. I think is is is making an even up a country that's already deeply divided and polarized even more so. Its very own presidential we hope the president will stop. David Harris the CEO of the American Jewish Committee some of the former Israeli President Shimon Peres called. Foreign minister of the Jewish people highly respected appreciate you coming on and thank you very much for your time sir thank you DeVon.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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