WH Aide: Trump’s Holocaust Statement ‘Beautifully’ Honored Jewish Victims
White House aide Boris Epshteyn on Monday defended Trump’s Holocaust statement last month which was subject to criticism by American Jewish organizations and political groups for refusing to identify the Holocaust with its Jewish victims.
“That statement beautifully honored and commemorated the great sacrifice of the Jewish people and the unfathomable atrocities suffered by the Jewish people, including my ancestors who were killed in the Holocaust,” Epshteyn said in an interview with Israeli Channel 10 News.
WH Press Secretary Sean Spicer defended the statement, noting that it was written by a senior member of the team who was Jewish. Politico later reported that the statement was written by Epshteyn.
In his interview with Channel 1o, Epshteyn refused to admit he was behind the controversial statement. “I am very proud to be part of a diverse and inclusive team with a lot of folks of Jewish background,” he said. “A lot of Jews here at the White House.”
Trump eventually acknowledged the Jewish nature of the Holocaust during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last Wednesday. “The state of Israel is a symbol to the world of resilience in the face of oppression,” the President said in his opening statement. “No other state has gone through what they have gone through, survival in the face of genocide. No other people has endured what the Jewish people have endured.”
But according to Abe Foxman, former National Director of the Anti-Defamation League and Director of Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Trump “came very close to it, but he didn’t deal with it,” Foxman told Jewish Insider. “He didn’t close the controversy. He had an opportunity to close that issue and he just stepped up to it and didn’t do it. These were prepared remarks. I would’ve talked about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism clearly. And there again, somebody in the White House has an issue to that subject, not willing to give him the opportunity to put it to rest, and that’s troubling.”