In response to harsh criticism by the Anne Frank Center, White House Press Secretary implied that the Center did not recognize the President’s leadership in stamping out discrimination and antisemitism.
The Center’s criticism came after Trump’s most direct denunciation of antisemitism to date, after both Trump and his administration had been roundly criticized for virtually his entire presidency on the matter. The Center called Trump’s denunciation “a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting Antisemitism, yet day after day have refused to apologize and correct the record.”
Spicer, who said that he had seen the statement by the group, responded by saying “I think he has been very forceful with his denunciation of people who seek to attack people because of their hate, because — excuse me, because of their religion, because of their gender, because of the color of their skin,” he said, adding “This is something that he is going to fight and make very, very clear that has no place in this administration.”
“But I think it’s ironic that no matter how many times he talks about this that it’s never good enough. Today, I think was an unbelievably forceful comment by the President as far as his denunciation of the actions that are currently targeted towards Jewish community centers. But I think that he has been very clear previous to this that he wants to be someone that brings this country together and not divide people, especially in those areas.”
“So I saw that statement. I wish that they had praised the president for his leadership in this area. And I think that hopefully as time continues to go by they recognize his commitment to civil rights, to voting rights, to equality for all Americans,” he said.
The response follows a pattern of defensiveness by the administration in response to criticism on a wide range of topics, particularly discrimination and antisemitism.