After days of criticism for omitting any mention of Jews or antisemitism from a White House statement commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the press secretary, Sean Spicer, lauded Trump for going “out of his way to recognize the Holocaust” and branded critics as “pathetic”.
Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, branded the Trump statement “puzzling and troubling”.
White House spokespeople defended the omission at the weekend, including the chief of staff, Reince Priebus, who told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday “I don’t regret the words,” adding: “I mean, everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust, including, obviously, all of the Jewish people.”
Trump aide Hope Hicks forwarded to CNN a link to a Huffington Post article about the millions of people who were killed by Nazis for their ethnicities, sexual orientation, and political or religious beliefs, and told the channel: “Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered.”
In response, the Republican Jewish Coalition issued a statement expressing its disapproval. “As supporters of President Trump, we know that he holds in his heart the memory of the six million victims of the Holocaust, and is committed not just to their memory, but ensuring it never happens again,” said spokesman Fred Brown.