U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, and U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (R), D-Minnesota, attend a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, February 7, 2019. (Photo credit SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Sen. Lindsey Graham says a group of progressive Democratic congresswomen are “a bunch of communists. They hate Israel. They hate our own country.”

President Donald Trump retweeted Graham’s statement, which also accused the congresswomen of being antisemitic.

The Republican Jewish Coalition agreed with Graham. It tweeted a clip of his statement, made to Fox News, and wrote “He isn’t wrong.”

Asked to elaborate, an RJC spokesman wrote to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that “we simply believe that everything Senator Graham says in this clip is correct, both in fact and sentiment.”

Graham’s statement came in response to a series of tweets from Trump insulting progressive Democratic congresswomen, apparently Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her congressional allies, Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley.

The president falsely tweeted that the congresswomen “originally came from countries” outside the United States, and told them to “go back” to the “places from which they came.” In fact, all of the congresswomen besides Omar were born in the United States.

The tweets have been widely decried as racist.

Here is the full text of the clip of Graham’s interview that was tweeted out by the RJC: “We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists. They hate Israel. They hate our own country. They’re calling the guards along our border, the border patrol agents,  concentration camp guards. They accuse people who support Israel of doing it ‘for the Benjamins.’ They’re anti-Semitic. They’re anti-America. Aim higher. We don’t need to know anything about them personally. Talk about their policies.”


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