My inclination is to dismiss the accusation of 'trafficking tropes' as fashionable gibberish, but it may be worth trying to fathom its meaning and analyze its use as a political weapon. 'Trope hunters' start from the indisputable fact that anti-Semites have traditionally used certain ideas, such as a Jewish conspiracy that accumulates power behind the scenes using monetary, magical and other means, or the thirst of Jews for Gentile blood, and corresponding images of the Jew as a snake, octopus, leech etc. These ideas and images are for some reason called 'tropes.'
Much less indisputably, trope hunters then claim that any statement about Jews even faintly reminiscent of any of these tropes causes enormous distress to Jews, poor ultra-sensitive creatures that we are. And from this it follows that any such statement is a horrendous crime to be passionately denounced and humbly apologized for (as Ilhan has duly done).
How does this 'trope trope' function as a political weapon?
First, it diverts attention away from the truth or falsehood of the statement labeled as trope-connected. Second, it delegitimizes that statement irrespective of whether it is true or false (especially, perhaps, if it is true).
As it is difficult to talk about matters concerning Jews without at least occasionally coming out with a statement capable of being labeled trope-connected, anyone wanting to talk about Jewish matters is compelled to be constantly on guard against inadvertently making such a boo-boo, thereby diverting energy away from substantive issues and deterring many people from talking about Jewish matters at all, except in private with trusted friends.