Sean Spicer’s selective apology tour

Sheldon Adelson gets a mea culpa for Spicer’s Holocaust remarks. The Anne Frank Center does not.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
CREDIT: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has spent the past 24 hours on an apology tour after he downplayed the magnitude of the Holocaust during a Tuesday press briefing. His stops on the tour include a special, one-on-one apology to casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who is Jewish.

Oddly enough, Adelson — who has given a fortune to supporting both the Republican Party and the Israeli right — seems to be the only person who warranted a personal mea culpa from Spicer. There’s no indication that Jewish members of Congress or Jewish organizations in the United States have received similar apologies; the White House has not replied to a request to comment.


A spokesperson for Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), one of the dozens of lawmakers who condemned Spicer’s remarks on Tuesday, told ThinkProgress that Nadler had not heard anything from the White House — nor, as far as he knew, had any other Jewish members of Congress. An aide to a Democratic senator said much the same thing.

“He hasn’t reached out to any Democrats that I’m aware of,” said the aide, speaking on background. All eight currently seated Jewish senators caucus with the Democratic Party.

Several Jewish groups also condemned Spicer’s remarks, with the harshest rebuke coming from the Anne Frank Center. Steven Goldstein, the center’s executive director, accused Spicer of “Holocaust denial” and called for President Donald Trump to “fire him at once” in a statement.

This is not the first time Spicer and the Anne Frank Center have clashed. In February, Spicer said he wished the center “had praised Donald Trump for fighting anti-Semitism” after the group criticized Trump’s cursory acknowledgment of recent anti-Semitic attacks.


Asked by ThinkProgress whether the Anne Frank Center had heard anything from Spicer after his Tuesday remarks, Goldstein emailed back a terse, “We have not.”

The Anti-Defamation League did not answer a request for comment.

If one is being extremely charitable, one could also count Spicer’s Tuesday night CNN appearance, as anchor Wolf Blitzer is Jewish. After Spicer delivered his initial apology, Blitzer asked him, “Tell us who you’re apologizing to right now.”

“Well, clearly, you know, anybody who not just suffered in the Holocaust or is a descendant of anybody, but, frankly, you know, anybody who was offended by those comments,” Spicer replied. “It’s not — as I said — I’m not, you know, in any way standing by them.”

Apology accepted, the Republican Jewish Coalition told Politico.