President Donald Trump has struggled to distance himself from the appearance of antisemitism as he continues to draw neo-Nazi and white nationalist support.
But a more prominent ally of the president made that effort more difficult Monday when he declared that Jews are more dangerous to the United States than Russian meddling.
Brexit leader and friend of the president, Nigel Farage, made the statements on his radio show.
“There are other very powerful lobbies in the United States of America, and the Jewish lobby, with its links with the Israeli government, is one of those strong voices,” Farage said on his London-based radio show.
The remarks came after a caller said that the "Jewish lobby" in the U.S. is as dangerous as the Kremlin.
“That’s a reasonable point,” Farage told the caller.
“There are about 6 million Jewish people living in America, so as a percentage it’s quite small, but in terms of influence it’s quite big.”
It is impossible to miss the conspiratorial flavor of the discussion, as pointed out by Jewish civil rights groups:
“Nigel Farage’s comments about the role of a powerful ‘Jewish lobby’ in America plays into deep-seated anti-Semitic tropes about supposed Jewish control of government,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt told Newsweek. “This is fuel for white supremacists who exploit and spread conspiracy theories about ‘evil, controlling Jews.’”
Farage has proven to be an unsurprising ally of Trump, both having appealed to the anti-immigrant and nationalistic feelings of their respective bases. It has also been reported that Farage became a "person of interest" in the FBI's Russian meddling investigation, though to date he has not been accused of any criminal wrongdoing.