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Eric Trump says Bob Woodward wrote book to make "shekels"

Last Updated Sep 13, 2018 1:24 AM EDT

Eric Trump, one of President Trump's three sons, told Fox News Wednesday that journalist Bob Woodward wrote a new and highly critical book about his father's administration in order to make "shekels." The younger Trump's use of the phrase was quickly criticized by social media users who noted that the word can have anti-Semitic connotations. 

"Don't you think people look through the fact that you can write a sensational, nonsense book, CNN will definitely have you on there because they love to trash the president," Eric Trump said on Wednesday's "Fox and Friends," the network's morning show, when asked about Woodward's book. 

"It will mean you sell three extra books, you make three extra shekels," Eric Trump added. "Is that really where we are? I think people see through this."

The shekel is modern Israel's currency, but anti-Semites frequently use the word when accusing American Jews of having secret influence over the U.S. government. Woodward is an American from Illinois who is best known for helping to uncover the Watergate scandal that ended Richard Nixon's presidency. His new book, "Fear," the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter's account of the White House's inner workings. 

Twitter users quickly accused Eric Trump of using anti-Jewish rhetoric during the Fox appearance.

Eric Trump's use of the term was also criticized by conservative commentators such as "Daily Wire" editor Ben Shapiro and the New York Post's Seth Mandel

For his part, President Trump has been highly critical of Woodward's book, recently tweeting that it was "a Joke" and "just another assault against me."

"The Woodward book is a Joke – just another assault against me, in a barrage of assaults, using now disproven unnamed and anonymous sources," the president tweeted Monday. "Many have already come forward to say the quotes by them, like the book, are fiction."