NBC's Meet the Press host Chuck Todd was surprised that Reince Priebus did not specifically mentioning the Jews when the Trump administration put out a statement honoring Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Reince said, "I don't regret the words, Chuck."
Priebus' entire interview with Todd was combative because Priebus gaslighted the host by refuting every single chaotic moment the Trump administration had created in the last few days. And Todd got visibly more and more frustrated.
But Chuck Todd deserves praise today for not retreating when Trump surrogates spew nonsense and lies.
At first Todd said he thought it was just an unintended error not to mention the Jews during the genocide against them, but that wasn't the case at all. Clearly, the anti-Semitic and white nationalist Steve Bannon put the words in his puppet Trump's statement, minimizing the horrors of genocide against the Jews in favor of an offensive spin on "All Lives Matter."
Todd then asked, "There was an issue with on Friday the White House put out a statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day. And there wasn't a mention of Jews in the statement of any, of the victims of the Holocaust that a majority of them were Jewish."
He read a portion from a conservative op-ed, "To universalize it to, quote, 'All those who suffered,' is to scrub the Holocaust of its meaning." Mr. Priebus, do you understand why many Jews were offended by the White House's decision not to note that the Holocaust was about eradicating the Jews?"
Priebus replied, "Well, I recognize, in fact, obviously that that was what the Holocaust was about. And it's a horrible event and obviously a miserable time in history that we remember here at the White House and certainly will never forget the Jewish people that suffered in World War II."
As Trump's Chief of Staff continued, Todd tried to get a question in and said, "Do you regret--does the president regret not--Do you regret--"
Reince replied, " I don't about regret. It’s just-- No..."
At that point, Reince just rushes into the patented Trump administration technique of bulldozing the anchors, interrupting and trying to divert the conversation. But Todd was dogged:
REINCE PRIEBUS: There’s no--
CHUCK TODD: There's no regret not acknowledging the pain that--
REINCE PRIEBUS: We acknowledge it. We acknowledge the--
CHUCK TODD: But you didn't--
REINCE PRIEBUS:--horrible time of the Holocaust.
CHUCK TODD:--but why white-wash--
REINCE PRIEBUS:--and what it meant for history, and so.
CHUCK TODD:--but why white-wash Jews from that statement?
REINCE PRIEBUS: I'm not white-washing anything, Chuck. I just told--
CHUCK TODD: The statement did.
REINCE PRIEBUS: And, 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.
CHUCK TODD: But you-- So you don’t-- But you don't regret the statement. You don't regret the words that were chosen in the statement and the words--
REINCE PRIEBUS: I don't regret the words, Chuck.
CHUCK TODD: --that were not included?
REINCE PRIEBUS: I'm trying to clear it up for you. I mean, everyone's suffering in the Holocaust including obviously all of the Jewish people affected and 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.
Because Trump is not smart enough or capable of perceiving consequences to his actions and relies on his extremist advisors like Bannon, who uses him to enact his extreme and un-American vision, leaving Trump surrogates like Priebus constantly have to "clear it up for you", however miserably. There are more than a few leaks coming out of the White House which depict Priebus as close to leaving, which isn't surprising if he has to spend Sundays doing this.
It was clearly a calculated move to not mention the Jews in their statement.
But "radical Islam," biotches!
Steve Bannon is smiling.
Thanks to NBC for supplying the transcript.