On Tuesday, President Donald Trump delivered an address at the United States Capitol Rotunda in commemoration of Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, the day before.
It is the day on which Israel, and Jews around the world, commemorate the victims and honor those who resisted the Nazis. The precise date shifts every year; it is observed on the 27th of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar, which fell on April 24 this year. (International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, was only created by the United Nations in 2005 and is less widely observed by Jewish communities.)
President Trump gave a strident address, in which he declared:
This is my pledge to you: We will confront anti-Semitism (Applause.) We will stamp out prejudice. We will condemn hatred. We will bear witness. And we will act. As President of the United States, I will always stand with the Jewish people — and I will always stand with our great friend and partner, the State of Israel.” The speech was warmly received, and applauded by many Jewish groups.
Yet CNN’s Dan Merica attempted to turn that positive and commendable gesture into an opportunity to attack President Trump — and to do so using demonstrably false claims about the administration and its staff.
The headline atop his article reads: “Trump commemorates Holocaust after a series of missteps,” and the bulk of the article is about the so-called “missteps,” most of which are innocent mistakes and some of which are demonstrable lies that Merica repeats.
For example, Merica claims: “Bomb threats have been on the rise in the United States and Canada since January, a fact some Jewish groups attribute to Trump’s campaign and presidency” [original link].
Merica links to a CNN article from February 27, but since then it was revealed that most of the threats came from a troubled Jewish American-Israeli teen. The threats began under President Barack Obama, but it was President Trump who took them seriously and helped find the culprit by devoting law enforcement resources to the task.
Many other threats were attributed to a left-wing black former journalist who was allegedly trying to take revenge on an ex-girlfriend. Merida does not mention any of that.
Merica also claims:
Charges of anti-Semitism have followed Trump since the 2016 campaign, when some of his top aides — including strategist Steve Bannon — were accused of making anti-Jewish comments and the campaign was criticized for being slow to reject support from David Duke, an anti-semitic [sic] politician and former leader of the Ku Klux Klan.
That entire paragraph is false and misleading. Months before CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Trump about Duke, Trump had already rejected Duke’s support. And Bannon has never made antisemitic comments. Merica tries to evade responsibility by reporting the accusation but without reporting that it was baseless, and that every Jewish person who has ever worked with Bannon in his long history on Wall Street, in Hollywood, and in the media has rejected it.
The rest of Merica’s article reads as if it were written by a Democratic Party press shop. It is fake news at its worst, and exploits a gesture that should be above politics — remembering the Holocaust — for the sake of scoring partisan points.