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White House says allegations of 'Holocaust denial' are 'pathetic'

Spokesperson Sean Spicer says the media is ‘nitpicking’

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THE WHITE HOUSE has said that it is “pathetic” to suggest that its statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day sought to sideline Jews.

Spokesperson Sean Spicer said this evening that the White House was instead attempting to remember all of the victims of the Nazis’ campaign of genocide.

Last Friday, Trump’s three-paragraph statement failed to make any specific reference to Israel or the six million Jews who were killed.

Previous administrations had made a clear reference to the slaughter of Jews.

The statement from US President Donald Trump read:

It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honour the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest.‎ As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent.

In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my Presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.

The statement drew criticism from from Jewish lobby group the Anti-Defamation League.

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Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said a Holocaust remembrance must acknowledge the slaughter of Jews, otherwise it becomes “Holocaust denial.”

But in a press conference this evening, Spicer said that such allegations are “nitpicking”.

“To suggest that when remembering the Holocaust, in acknowledging all of the people: Jewish, gypsies, disabled, priests, gays and lesbians. It is frankly pathetic that you are picking on the statement,” he said.

The idea that you’re nitpicking a statement that sought to remember this tragic event that occurred and the people who died in it, is ridiculous.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus also defended the White House’s statement yesterday.

Priebus said the administration doesn’t regret the wording and added  that: “we’ll never forget the Jewish people who suffered in World War II.”

Priebus told NBC’s Meet the Press he’s “not whitewashing anything” and that “everyone’s heart is impacted here by that terrible time.”

- With reporting by Associated Press

Read: Nazi hunter says hundreds of Nazis could still be at large >

Read: Hitler’s Mein Kampf sells 85,000 copies in Germany >

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Rónán Duffy

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