President Trump took a moment during Thursday’s cabinet meeting to bid farewell to his departing economic adviser Gary Cohn, but did so using language sometimes accused of having anti-Semitic characteristics.
“He’s been terrific,” Trump said of Cohn, who is Jewish. “He may be a globalist, but I still like him. He’s seriously globalist, there’s no question, but you know what, in his own way he’s also a nationalist because he loves our country.”
According to The New York Times, the term “globalist” is used in extreme right-wing circles with “distinct xenophobic, anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic overtones” and refers to “a conspiratorial worldview: a cabal that likes open borders, diversity and weak nation states, and that dislikes white people, Christianity and the traditional culture of their own country.”
Trump frequently uses the term to refer to people like Cohn who hold an economic philosophy that favors free trade and open markets. When he described Cohn as a globalist Trump drew a smiles from cabinet members around the table, including Cohn himself who was sitting behind the president.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney also tried to use the term in a playful way on Tuesday, tweeting: “As a right-wing conservative…I never expected the coworker I would work closest and best with would be a ‘globalist.’”
In the past, the term “globalist” was used by ‘alt-right’ activists to attack Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is also Jewish.
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Trump: Gary Cohn’s A Globalist, But I Like Him Anyway