US Jewish groups on Wednesday condemned President-elect Donald Trump for suggesting US intelligence agencies leaked an unverified report that Russia has compromising information on him, a move he compared to Nazi Germany.
Just over a week before Trump takes office, the United States has been rocked by unsubstantiated claims that his aides colluded with the Kremlin to win the election — and that Russia has compromising sexual material on Trump.
Trump initially drew the Holocaust analogy in a tweet early Wednesday. When pressed on the remark during a press conference later in the day, Trump likened the leaking of the dossier to a policy employed by the Third Reich.
“That’s something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do…. That information that was false and fake got to the public,” he said.
In response, the Anti-Defamation League and AJC rebuked Trump and urged him to apologize.
“No one should cavalierly draw analogies to Nazi Germany, especially the next leader of the free world,” Anti-Defamation League head Jonathan Greenblatt said in a tweet. “It is not only a ridiculous comparison on the merits, but it also coarsens our discourse and diminishes the horror of the Holocaust. The President-elect should apologize for the remark.”
In an angry Twitter tirade on Wednesday, Trump vehemently rejected reports that Russia had compromising information on him, including sex tapes.
“Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to “leak” into the public,” tweeted Trump. “One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?”
Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to "leak" into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Greenblatt replied, “No @realdonaldtrump, the US isn’t remotely like #Nazi Germany.”
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) January 11, 2017
AJC (formerly known as the American Jewish Committee) also called the comparison “inappropriate.”
“We regret @realDonaldTrump’s use of Nazi Germany regarding the media – an inappropriate comparison that diminishes the horrors of that time.”
We regret @realDonaldTrump’s use of Nazi Germany regarding the media – an inappropriate comparison that diminishes the horrors of that time.
— American Jewish Committee (@AJCGlobal) January 11, 2017
Moscow denied the reports, calling them a fabrication and claiming their purpose was to damage Russia’s relations with Washington.
“The Kremlin does not have compromising information on Trump,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists, calling the claims a “total fake” and “obvious attempt to harm our bilateral relations.”
CNN reported that intelligence officials briefing Trump last Friday on allegations of Russian meddling in the US election had also given him a synopsis of the explosive and unverified claims.
The intelligence chiefs presented America’s incoming 45th president, as well as outgoing President Barack Obama, with a two-page summary on the potential embarrassment, according to CNN and The New York Times, which cited multiple unnamed US officials with direct knowledge of the meeting.
Trump denounced the reports as a “political witch hunt.”