Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
News

White House Blocked State Department’s Holocaust Statement That Mentioned Jews

(JTA) — The State Department crafted a statement for International Holocaust Remembrance Day that explicitly mentioned the Jewish victims of the Nazis, but President Donald Trump’s White House team reportedly blocked its release.

An unnamed Trump official said the incident was purely the product of miscommunication, Politico reported Thursday.

The State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy on Holocaust Issues prepared a statement that it believed was written for Trump to use. The statement specifically mentioned the Jews murdered by the Nazis.

The Trump official told Politico that the president did not receive the State Department draft until after he released his own statement.

Trump’s statement, released Jan. 27, elicited a storm of criticism for failing to mention the Jews killed during the Holocaust.

The White House statement spoke of “the victims, survivors, [and] heroes of the Holocaust,” but did not specifically mention Jews or anti-Semitism, which had been customary in statements by his predecessors, Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

The Zionist Organization of America, Republican Jewish Coalition and the Anti-Defamation League were among the many Jewish groups to take issue with the omission. Sen. Tim Kaine likened the statement to Holocaust denial.

In response to the criticism, Trump administration spokeswoman Hope Hicks defended the statement as an attempt to be inclusive.

Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said the president “has dear family members that are Jewish.”

“I recognize, in fact, obviously that that was what the Holocaust was about,” Priebus said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last weekend.

Engage

  • Events

    Haart to Haart

    Virtual

    Dec 7, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    A conversation with Julia Haart and her son Shlomo, stars of Netflix's 'My Unorthodox Life,' about the new season and much more.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.