Trump says anti-Semitism is 'horrible,' must stop

U.S. President Donald Trump calls recent threats against Jewish community centres "horrible and painful."

President's remarks follow wave of bomb threats against Jewish centres across U.S.

U.S. President Donald Trump tours the National Museum of African American History and Culture, on Tuesday, in Washington. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

U.S. President Donald Trump is calling recent threats against Jewish community centres "horrible and painful."

Trump made the remarks Tuesday after touring the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. He said the museum was a "meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all forms."

The threats against Jewish community centres are a "very sad reminder" of what still needs to be done, Trump said.

Trump also denounced anti-Semitism in an interview on Tuesday with NBC.

"I will tell you that anti-Semitism is horrible and it's going to stop and it has to stop," he said. 

Trump's critics have long accused him of encouraging, or ignoring, bigotry against groups including Muslims, Mexicans and Jews. He refused to take a question about anti-Semitism during a news conference last week, and his administration came under fire for not mentioning Jews or anti-Semitism in its statement last month marking Holocaust Remembrance Day.

One organization said his remarks were "too little, too late."

"His statement today is a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting anti-Semitism," said Steven Goldstein, executive director of the New York-based Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. 

Bomb threats across U.S.

Earlier on Tuesday, the White House denounced "hatred and hate-motivated violence" without directly mentioning the recent threats against the centres or Jews. 

Some 11 community centres across the United States were evacuated after receiving bomb threats on Monday. No arrests were made and no one was injured. All of the centres returned to normal operations.

The FBI said it is joining with the Justice Department to investigate "possible civil rights violations in connection with threats" to Jewish centres across the country.

With files from The Associated Press