President Donald Trump delivered a statement on International Holocaust Memorial Day on Monday that received backlash for not mentioning the Jewish people. While white supremacist leader Richard Spencer praised the statement as a “de-Judification” of the Holocaust, many including Sen. Tim Kaine and former Hillary Clinton runningmate slammed it as “Holocaust denial.”
State Department officials drafted their own statement last month that mentioned the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, but the White House moved forward with its own version, according to people familiar with the process who spoke with Politico.
They noted that the State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy on Holocaust Issues had written up a statement that commemorated the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, which the White House blocked.
A White House official instead suggested that they did not see the State Department’s draft statement until the official White House statement had already been released.
The Holocaust Museum responded on Monday to the White House’s omission of Jewish suffering in a statement. It wrote, “Millions of other innocent civilians were persecuted and murdered by the Nazis, but the elimination of Jews was central to Nazi policy.”
Republican Jewish Coalition head Fred Brown said in a statement, “The lack of a direct statement about the suffering of the Jewish people during the Holocaust was an unfortunate omission. History unambiguously shows the purpose of the Nazi’s final solution was the extermination of the Jews of Europe.”
Trump’s White House defended its statement as “inclusive.”