(WASINGTON) — President Joe Biden on Friday denounced antisemitism and urged other political leaders to do the same.
“I just want to make a few things clear: The Holocaust happened,” Biden tweeted. “Hitler was a demonic figure. And instead of giving it a platform, our political leaders should be calling out and rejecting antisemitism wherever it hides.”
“Silence is complicity,” the president added.
Biden’s post, while not specifically naming any people, follows recent antisemitic comments made by rapper Ye — formerly known as Kanye West — praising Adolph Hitler, and after former President Donald Trump hosted a dinner with Ye and white nationalist Nick Fuentes at his Mar-a-Lago estate.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, when asked who Biden was referring to in his Twitter post, said, “I don’t think it matters who in particular.”
“I think what the president is trying to say is being silent is complicit, and when we see this type of hatred, when we see this type of antisemitism, we need to call it out,” Jean-Pierre told reporters on Friday. “We need to be — we need to be very, very clear and condemn that, and that’s what you’re going to continue to hear from this president.”
Trump faced pushback from some Republicans after the dinner, with Rep. Kevin McCarthy — in line to become the next speaker of the House — telling ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Mary Bruce that he didn’t think anyone should be spending any time with Fuentes.
Sen. Mitch McConnell went a step further, telling the press that anyone advocating with white supremacists or antisemites is “highly unlikely to ever be elected president of the United States.”
Ye had his Twitter account suspended on Friday after his account appeared to show a swastika inside a Star of David.
Earlier, Ye praised Adolph Hitler and went on an antisemitic rant during an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Elon Musk, Twitter’s new CEO, said the post violated the company’s rules on incitement to violence.
One study from Montclair State University found hate speech increased on Twitter immediately following Musk’s takeover of the platform. Musk has said he wants to embrace free speech on Twitter, saying the platform was unfairly infringing on free speech.
Jean-Pierre on Friday said Biden is “standing with the Jewish community” and highlighted his past condemnations of bigotry.
“The president, for years, including after the hateful march in Charlottesville that drove him to run — his father had said, ‘Silence is complicity,'” she said. “And as president of the United States, he feels that it’s important for him to be very clear.”
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