A former senior Trump Organization executive who now backs Hillary Clinton in the presidential race alleged on Twitter today that Donald Trump “joked about gas chambers and ovens” years ago.
The tweets came amid a growing furor over comments by Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., who made reference on a Philadelphia radio show to the press “warming up the gas chambers” for Trump.
Trump Jr.’s Holocaust joke was widely criticized on social media, but Res tweeted that she had heard it before — from the candidate himself.
Years ago, Trump joked about gas chambers and ovens https://t.co/aWU0XxQ42H— Barbara Res (@BarbaraAResEsq) September 15, 2016
“No surprise to me,” Res tweeted at JInsider political correspondent Jacob Kornbluh. “I heard Trump senior joke about gas chambers and ovens.”
A spokeswoman for Trump denied the claims in an email to the Forward. “This is totally false,” Trump communication director Hope Hicks wrote in an email to the Forward. “It is an unsubstantiated claim from a disgruntled former employee who has been largely discredited.”
Trump has faced criticism throughout the presidential campaign for the anti-Semitic sentiments of some of his followers. In July, Trump tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton, a pile of cash, and a Jewish star, which some argued played on anti-Semitic tropes. Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kusher are Orthodox Jews.
Res, who worked for Trump for 18 years and led the construction of Trump Tower, has been a vocal critic of Trump throughout the 2016 campaign. She accused him in the New York Daily News of leering at attractive women who worked for his company, and she called him a “bully” in the Daily Beast.
Res did not respond to a tweet from the Forward requesting elaboration on her allegations.
Updated with response from Trump Organization.
Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at email@example.com or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis.
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.