The State Department drafted its own statement last month marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day that explicitly included a mention of Jewish victims, according to people familiar with the matter, but President Donald Trump's White House blocked its release.The existence of the draft statement adds another dimension to the controversy around the White House's own statement that was released on Monday and set off a furor because it excluded any mention of Jews.
It never occurred to me this would still be a story a week later, and yet, here we are.
According to Politico's report, the State Department's Office of the Special Envoy on Holocaust Issues "prepared its own statement for International Holocaust Remembrance Day." As it has in the past, the department's statement commemorated the Holocaust's Jewish victims.The White House chose to issue its own statement, which obviously went in a different direction.Politico added that, according to the White House, officials didn't see the State Department's draft until after the controversial release, and Team Trump wasn't expecting a version from the State Department anyway.Officials at the State Department, however, believed their statement "was being drafted for the White House to use."All of which reinforces the belief that the White House made a conscious effort to release a statement honoring International Holocaust Remembrance Day that excluded references to Jews on purpose.If you're new to the story and need a recap, reference our previous coverage, but let's just revisit one relevant detail: a few days ago, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Donald Trump not only "went out of his way" to recognize the Holocaust, but he's been "praised" for the content of the statement.Here's my challenge to the White House: name one person who's "praised" the statement. Just one.