January 30, 2017
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Hillary Clinton’s former running mate, said President Donald Trump offended both Muslims and Jews on Friday, and Kaine said he doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence.
Kaine, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said Trump’s executive order temporarily banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries is a “religious test on Muslims.”
“And the irony is not lost on me that it was issued the same day as the White House issued their Holocaust Remembrance Day proclamation that, unlike any previous administration, removed all reference to Jews.
“So you put a religious test on Muslims and you try to scrub reference to Jews in the Holocaust remembrance. This was horribly, horribly mishandled…”
Host Chuck Todd asked Kaine, “You think it’s more than a coincidence that it all happened on Friday?”
“I think all of these things are happening together,” Kaine responded.” When you have the chief political adviser in the White House, Steve Bannon, who is connected with a news organization that traffics in white supremacy and anti-Semitism, and they put out a Holocaust statement that omits any mention of Jews.
“Remember, earlier administrations have done these statements. And so the first thing you do is you pull up to see what earlier statements have said. And the earlier staples — President Obama, President Bush always talk about the Holocaust in connection with the slaughter of Jews. The final solution was about the slaughter of Jews. We have to remember this.
“This is what Holocaust denial is. It’s either to deny that it happened, or many Holocaust deniers acknowledge oh, yeah, people were killed but it was a lot of innocent people. Jews weren’t targeted. The fact that they did that and imposed this religious test against Muslims in the executive orders on the same day, this is not a coincidence.”
Trump’s statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day reads as follows:
It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor 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.
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, also appearing on “Meet the Press,” called the Holocaust a “horrible event” and a “miserable time in history.”
He said no “ill will” was intended by omitting any mention of Jews from the proclamation. But, pressed by Todd, Priebus wouldn’t use the word regret.
“Do you regret…the statement?” Todd asked.
“No, there’s no–” Priebus started to answer.
Attempting to legitimize Kaine’s claim, Todd cut in, “There’s no regret? Not acknowledging the pain that–”
“We acknowledge it. We acknowledge the horrible time…of the Holocaust, and what it meant for history.”
“But why whitewash Jews from that statement?” Todd asked.
“I’m not whitewashing anything, Chuck. I just told you–”
“The statement did,” Todd said.
“Well, I’m telling you now that that’s the way we feel about it. And it’s a terrible time in history and obviously I think you know that President Trump has dear family members that are Jewish and there was no harm or ill will or offense intended by any of that.”
“But you — so you don’t — but you don’t regret the statement?” Todd asked. “You don’t regret the words that were chosen in the statement and the words…that were not included?”
“I don’t regret…the words,” Chuck. I’m trying to clear it up for you. I mean, everyone suffering in the Holocaust, including, obviously, all of the Jewish people affected in the miserable genocide that occurred, is something that we consider to be extraordinarily sad and something that can never be forgotten and something that, if we could wipe it off of the history books, we could. But we can’t. And it’s terrible. I mean, I don’t know what more to tell you.”