Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, has defended the controversial White House statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day. The statement did not mention the suffering of Jewish people specifically.

'Critics are sad and pathetic'

Spicer, in typically robust fashion, condemned critics of the statement as ‘sad and pathetic’ before he stated that President Donald Trump has been praised for the statement by Jewish people and Israelis. Spicer said: ‘Trump went well out of his way to recognise the Holocaust’.

Conversely, the Trump Holocaust Remembrance Day statement has been praised by various antisemitic websites for “exceeding expectations in pushing back against Jewish supremacy”.

‘Trump is very aware of what people are saying about him. I think that, by and large, he’s been heavily praised for his statement. With respect to Israeli and Jewish people, Donald Trump has been one of their best friends when it comes to protecting Israeli interests. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated on numerous occasions that he supports the Trump administration and that he respects Trump’s continuing efforts in Israel,’ Spicer said. Spicer continued, lambasting the Obama administration’s ‘anti-Israeli relationship’

A little over a week into his new job, Sean Spicer has already established a hostile relationship with President Trump’s critics. So far, many of his press conferences have been thematically concerned with labelling critics of the Trump administration as ‘pathetic and sad’.

'Puzzling and troubling comments'

Jonathan Greenblatt, the president of the Anti-Defamation League, said Trump’s statement was both ‘puzzling and troubling’. However, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus defended the new President’s statement. ‘There was no harm or ill will intended. We do not regret the words of the statement. Everyone suffered in the Holocaust, including Jewish people. It is something that we can never forget. It is something we would wipe from history if we could do,’ Priebus said.