The White House is in a truly mind-boggling Holocaust controversy—and it won't back down

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Today in headlines I never thought I'd write: the White House tripled down on its defense of a heavily criticized statement marking the Holocaust that failed to mention the murder of six million Jews.


As the Washington Post points out, the White House's statement bucked a bipartisan trend of specifically recognizing the millions of European Jews killed in the genocide.

During Monday's press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer insisted that actually, the statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day–which memorialized the "innocent people" murdered by the Nazis–was good, and that people are praising it.

"I think by and large [Trump]'s been praised for it," Spicer said of the statement.

Hmm. Really?

The statement was roundly criticized by Jewish organizations. On Twitter, Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, called the comments "puzzling and troubling." AJC Global, a Jewish advocacy group, called out Spicer specifically for referring to fallout around the statement as "pathetic." On Sunday, Sen. Tim Kaine put it more bluntly, saying, “This is what Holocaust denial is."

"The president went out of his way to recognize the Holocaust and the suffering that went through it, and the people that were affected by it, and the loss of life, and to make sure America never forgets what so many people went through, whether they were Jews, gypsies, gays, disability, priests," Spicer inexplicably continued.

That line of defense–that Trump really went out of his way to think to think about the Holocaust, so lay off already–came after the administration deployed chief of staff Reince Priebus to defend the erasure of six million Jews on the Sunday news shows.


“Everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust including obviously all of the Jewish people affected and miserable genocide that occurs— it’s something that we consider to be extraordinarily sad,” Priebus said, as quoted by The New York Times"I don't regret the words."

You can watch a clip of Spicer response here via ABC News: