A Jewish aide penned President Donald Trump's controversial statement for Holocaust Remembrance Day, Politico reported.
The aide, Boris Epshteyn, is a Jewish-Russian immigrant who is the descendant of Holocaust survivors. He joined Trump's team as a special assistant this year, but was a senior adviser to Trump during his presidential campaign.
Trump sent out a statement Friday marking the day, but did not mention Jews or anti-Semitism, a departure from previous presidents. The statement calls for the remembrance of "victims, survivors, heroes" but does not mention the millions of Jewish people killed during the Holocaust.
Conservative groups have slammed Trump for not including Jews in his statement, including the Zionist Organization of America, whose national president said the omission was painful and should be rectified.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday defended the White House, saying the statement "was written with the help of an individual who is both Jewish and the descendent of Holocaust survivors," but did not name Epshteyn.
"I'm not getting into who wrote it," he said when asked if he was referring to senior adviser Jared Kushner, also Trump's son-in-law. "But [Trump] has several members of the Jewish faith on his senior staff."
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