Donald Trump Jr. made an apparent Holocaust reference while attacking the media for being what he called Hillary Clinton’s “number one surrogate.”
“Without the media, this wouldn’t even be a contest, but the media has built her up,” Trump Jr. said in a radio interview on Thursday, according to CBS Philadelphia. “They’ve let her slide on every [discrepancy], on every lie, on every DNC game trying to get Bernie Sanders out of this thing. If Republicans were doing that, they’d be warming up the gas chamber right now.”
His father, Republican nominee Donald Trump, often says something similar. But in elder the Trump’s hyperbolic formulation, he’d be getting “the electric chair” if he acted in certain ways, such as dropping foul language on the campaign trail.
Later Thursday, Trump Jr. told NBC’s Katy Tur that his “gas chamber” remark was a reference to “corporal punishment” and not Naziism.
Trump Jr. tells @KatyTurNBC that his “gas chamber” comment is referencing corporal punishment, not in any way anti-Semitic.
— Micah Grimes (@MicahGrimes) September 15, 2016
The Clinton campaign was unmoved.
“Donald Trump Jr.’s recent comments invoking the use of gas chambers to make a political attack show just how insensitive, divisive, and reckless the Trump campaign is,” Sarah Bard, director of Jewish outreach for the campaign, said in a statement. “The bottom line is this — offensive references to the Holocaust are never acceptable, especially from a Presidential campaign.”
“[Trump] is taking a hate movement mainstream,” Clinton said in an interview late last month. “He’s brought it into his campaign. He’s bringing it to our communities and our country.” Trump, she said, has “courted white supremacists” and is “very much peddling bigotry and prejudice and paranoia.”
Last week, Clinton said Trump’s supporters belong in a “basket of deplorables,” calling them “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.”
But that wasn’t the first time the younger Trump stirred controversy for his father’s campaign.
In March, Trump Jr. gave a 20-minute interview to the host of a radio show that promotes “a philosophy that is pro-White.” Trump Jr. later said he was unaware of the host’s white nationalist views.
“Had I known, I would have obviously never done an interview with him,” Trump Jr. told Bloomberg Politics.