Scaramucci apologizes for Holocaust poll gaffe

After his media company posted a poll questioning the number of victims that were murdered in the Holocaust, the former White House communications director found himself in some serious hot water.

October 18, 2017 12:19
2 minute read.
White house Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci (R)), flanked by White House Press Secretary

White house Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci (R)), flanked by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, blows a kiss to reporters after addressing the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, July 21, 2017. . (photo credit: REUTERS)


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After the intense backlash to a Holocaust-related poll posted on his media company's Twitter account, Anthony Scaramucci repeatedly apologized and promised to donate $25,000 to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

"On behalf of the @ScaramucciPost we will be making a $25,000 donation to The Simon Wiesenthal Center," the former White House communications director wrote on Tuesday night. "Hopefully I spelled that right," he added, with a laughing face emoji.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Jerusalem Post it will funnel any funds from Scaramucci to further Holocaust education. 

"We will assign any donation that Mr. Scaramucci makes to continue our four-decade commitment to teach young Americans the truth about the Nazi Holocaust," said Cooper, "the most documented genocide in the history of the world."

Scaramucci faced a wave of criticism after Lance Laifer, his partner in Scaramucci Post, his vague media venture, posted a poll on Twitter asking people to select how many Jews they thought were killed in the Holocaust. The four options ranged from "Less than 1 million" to "More than 5 million." Most historians agree that close to six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis during World War II.

Cooper said that the poll was "all about context."

"If this question was posed as part of a comprehensive polling about what Americans know about the Nazi Holocaust, that’s one thing," he said. "Taken in isolation, it feeds inappropriate and deeply troubling ongoing efforts by extremists on both sides of the Atlantic to deny or diminish the Shoah."

The poll was pulled, and repeated apologies were posted. Scaramucci, who was fired from the White House earlier this year after an extremely brief and very colorful tenure, said the poll was posted by Laifer without his knowledge. He said the idea was to promote Holocaust awareness, coming on the heel of several tweets about a pulled Anne Frank Halloween costume.

"As soon as I found out, I had it removed immediately,” he wrote on Twitter. “It is the Scaramucci Post and the buck stops with me... I am pained imagining that my post led anyone to believe I am giving comfort to Holocaust deniers. Nothing can be further from the truth. I have publicly criticized the white supremacy movement and understand that the Holocaust was one of the most abhorrent moments in world history. Six million Jews and millions of others lost their lives.”

Scaramucci has never been entirely clear on what "The Scaramucci Post" will do or offer. It currently consists of a Twitter feed and an Instagram account.

The poll itself garnered swift and angry reactions. The Anti-Defamation League posted that "This question is beyond resolved @scaramuccipost. Take it down." CNN reporter and anchor Jake Tapper asked "What the actual f— is this," and Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel said "Scaramucci is on minute 102 of his 15 minutes."

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