The Hill reports
British politician Nigel Farage faced criticism Tuesday after making antisemitic statements, suggesting on-air this that the “Jewish lobby” has a disproportionate amount of power in the United States while discussing ongoing investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Speaking on his LBC show about investigations into Russian election meddling, Farage said there are “foreign lobbies” that are “very powerful” in the U.S. and have influenced American politics.
“There are about six million Jewish people living in America, so as a percentage it’s quite small, but in terms of influence its quite big,” Farage said. “They have a voice within American politics, as indeed do the Hindu groups and many other groups in America. But I don’t think anybody is suggesting that the Israeli government tried to affect the result of the American elections.”
Farage, the former leader of the right-wing UK Independence Party, was asked by a caller whether U.S. politicians are “in the pockets” of Israel, to which Farage replied: “In terms of money and influence yes they are a very powerful lobby.”
“There are other very powerful foreign lobbies in the United States of America and the Jewish lobby with its link to the Israeli government is one of those strong voices,” he continued.
Farage, a close ally of President Trump, also said that it was unlikely Russian interference in the election had a “material effect” on the election results.
The comments became the subject of backlash, with some online saying Farage was spreading conspiracy theories and anti-semitic tropes.
Farage made the comments Monday, following the bombshell report that a federal grand jury had hit former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Richard Gates with a 12-count indictment on Monday morning. The indictment includes charges of conspiracy against the United States and money laundering.
Farage has forged a close alliance with Trump, appearing alongside him on the campaign trail and attending presidential debates to show support for the real estate mogul. Trump has also spoke fondly of Farage, praising his “Brexit” efforts.
The British politician even dined with the president at Trump International Hotel in D.C. on the president’s first outing after his inauguration.