Donald Trump’s son Eric Trump lashed out at journalist Bob Woodward on Fox News Wednesday morning, calling the Watergate veteran’s book a work of fiction used for publicity.
In an interview, Eric remarked that Woodward, who is not Jewish, made “three extra shekels,” referring to Israel’s currency, with his book attacking the Trump administration.
“Don’t you think people look through the fact that you can write a sensational, nonsense book, CNN will definitely have you on there because they love to trash the president,” Trump said, responding to Fox and Friends host Steve Doocy, who asked if the book detailed “chaos” in the White House.
“It will mean you sell three extra books, you make three extra shekels,” Trump continued. “Is that really where we are? I think people see through this.”
It was unclear initially why Trump used the term “shekels” to describe money made by Woodward’s book. The alt-right watchdog website RationalWiki notes that alt-right and white nationalists online often use the term to describe money supposedly tainted by Jewish influence.
Woodward’s longtime reporting partner on the Watergate scandal, Carl Bernstein, is Jewish. The Trump administration has battled Woodward in the press over the last week due to the release of Woodward’s book, “Fear,” detailing dysfunction in the White House and broader administration.
Trump officials and Trump himself have repeatedly characterized the book as inaccurate and gleaned mainly from interviews with disgruntled ex-White House employees.
The president called the book a “joke” in a tweet Monday morning, and threatened to counter the release of Woodward’s reporting with “the real book” of his own.
“The Woodward book is a Joke – just another assault against me, in a barrage of assaults, using now disproven unnamed and anonymous sources,” he tweeted. “Many have already come forward to say the quotes by them, like the book, are fiction. Dems can’t stand losing. I’ll write the real book!
Twitter quickly called out the anti-semitism:
I am now inviting the MAGA crowd to offer a good faith explanation of why Eric Trump said that a reporter wrote a book to make some extra "shekels." Anyone? Bueller?
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) 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
People are raising eyebrows at Eric Trump’s use “3 extra shekels,” but isn’t it worse that the son of a purported billionaire with access to the finest education that money can buy doesn’t know what the word behest means? And uses it repeatedly anyway? On TV? pic.twitter.com/JJhDaQmHxB
— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) September 12, 2018
Three guesses as to what community is super excited Eric Trump said "three extra shekels" on Fox & Friends pic.twitter.com/K6rkCX0wMu
— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) September 12, 2018
The only time I’ve ever heard “shekels” said by someone who isn’t Jewish, it’s been used as an anti-Semitic slur. But watch, you’ll be told you’re over-reacting & being too politically correct. https://t.co/SGQMidDTfV
— Jason Karsh (@jkarsh) September 12, 2018
ERIC TRUMP attacks Democrats: "Anti-law enforcement, high taxes, and elimination of plastic straws is not a message that will win in November."
ERIC TRUMP then dismisses WOODWARD book as "sensational nonsense" he wrote "to make 3 extra shekels." pic.twitter.com/GuTXMpPLHG
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 12, 2018