President Donald Trump faced backlash online on Thursday after he praised Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Co., as having “good bloodlines.”

“In our lifetimes, the company founded by a man named Henry Ford ― good bloodlines, good bloodlines ― if you believe in that stuff,” Trump said in a speech following his tour of a Ford plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan. “You got good blood,” he added, ostensibly addressing William Clay Ford, the company’s executive chairman and great-grandson of Henry Ford.

As many on social media pointed out, Henry Ford was among the most influential anti-Semitic figures in the U.S. in the early 20th century. He held deeply prejudiced personal views, and his anti-Semitic writings were admired and praised by Adolf Hitler. Through his Michigan hometown newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, Ford disseminated hundreds of articles that claimed the existence of an international Jewish conspiracy that served as a rationale for anti-Semitism.

His newspaper also wrote articles based on “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” ― a fraudulent anti-Semitic document first published in Russia in the early 1900s ― and presented it as a factual text detailing Jewish attempts to seize control of the world. Following a libel lawsuit, Ford officially apologized for spreading hate speech in 1927, the same year his newspaper was shut down.

In 1938, a year before Hitler’s invasion of Poland, the Nazi regime bestowed Ford with the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, the highest decoration Nazi Germany could award a foreigner. 

It’s not the first time Trump has made comments touting superior genetics. In 2018, during a dinner with top world business leaders, he reportedly made comments praising the “good bloodlines” and “amazing DNA” in the room. He’s praised his own “good genes” on several occasions and has been known to agree with eugenics.

The President says the founder of Ford has good bloodlines.. If you’re not familiar with Henry Ford, I would encourage you to read more about him and specifically his actions during WW2 pic.twitter.com/vniaOSR2sX

— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) May 21, 2020

Henry Ford was a Nazi sympathizer who wrote “The International Jew, the World’s Foremost Problem.”

Hitler called Ford an “inspiration” & gave him the highest Nazi medal for foreigners.

Trump praising Ford’s “good bloodlines” = a dog-whistle to antisemites & white nationalists. https://t.co/478q3Oq67r

— Bend the Arc: Jewish Action (@jewishaction) May 21, 2020

You guys know what Henry Ford had to say about my people’s bloodlines, right? https://t.co/zNd5Df0WdC

— Rabbi Jonah Geffen (@JonahGeffen) May 21, 2020

Henry Ford helped fund the Nazis during WW II. He was given the highest civilian honor from Germany, the Grand Cross of the German Eagle. Like Ford, Trump is an American fascist. https://t.co/cD9V4698zD

— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) May 21, 2020

Henry Ford was also a raging anti semite. This is such a weird thing to say. https://t.co/SopgThjzk1

— Wajahat “Social Distance Yourself” Ali (@WajahatAli) May 21, 2020

Henry Ford popularized the Elders of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion anti-semetic conspiracy theory that empowered Adolf Hitler, who told reporters he wanted to install Henry Ford as a fascist president. https://t.co/vWhOaR1GeF

— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) May 21, 2020

Cool so I guess we’re just gonna breeze by how basically the only time Trump has invoked the word “good bloodlines” during his presidency has been while talking about the Fords, who were known for antisemitism and were *literally* mentioned by name in Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.” https://t.co/my2NzffA2r

— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) May 21, 2020

It’s generally unwise to praise the “bloodlines” of Henry Ford, a man who distributed thousands of anti-Semitic pamphlets and was a hero of Hitler, who kept a framed picture of him in his office. But our president is a moron who doesn’t know basic history, so we get this instead: https://t.co/679mmRgIUe

— (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) May 21, 2020

Surprising NO ONE, @realDonaldTrump says that the virulent anti-Semite and Nazi-sympathizer, Henry Ford, has “good bloodlines.”🤬#RacistInChief #RacistGOP https://t.co/7vbzJ9jk6k

— Dr. Dena Grayson (@DrDenaGrayson) May 21, 2020

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