By Katie Reilly
February 21, 2017

President Trump on Tuesday called anti-Semitism “horrible,” speaking out for the first time on recent threats and incidents of vandalism targeting Jewish organizations and institutions.

“I will tell you that anti-Semitism is horrible and it’s going to stop. And it has to stop,” Trump told MSNBC on Tuesday morning, while visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Asked if he was denouncing anti-Semitism once and for all, Trump said, “Of course, and I do it — whenever I get a chance, I do it.”

In brief remarks to reporters, Trump then said that his tour of the recently opened museum was a “meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms.”

“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish communities and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” he said.

Trump had recently resisted commenting on anti-Semitism. At a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, he responded to a question about “a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents” since his election by talking about his Electoral College victory.

Asked about anti-Semitism again at a press conference the next day, Trump called it a “very insulting question.”

“Number one, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life,” he said. “Number two, racism, the least racist person.”

Write to Katie Reilly at Katie.Reilly@time.com.

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