Photo Credit: Jonathan Greenblatt image by PopTech; Donald Trump image by Darron Birgenheier
Jonathan Greenblatt & Donald Trump

It began with a tweet from President-elect Donald Trump (how many stories nowadays start exactly this way, one wonders), who vented: “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?”

In case you’ve been keeping out of the gutter that seems to be the place where our national and international news prefer to hover, we’ll enlighten you: on Wednesday, CNN reported that “a dossier, compiled by a person who has claimed to be a former British intelligence official, alleges Russia has compromising information on Trump.” Noting that said allegations are “unverified,” and the report “contains errors,” CNN nevertheless reported that the dossier includes compromising information about Donald Trump compiled by the Russians. And when we say compromising, they really, really are.

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That’s why Trump was implying in his tweet that our clandestine services, who are not especially friendly to him (he did put them down a lot during and after the campaign), were behind the leaked dossier, which he insists is a total fake.

Incidentally, Trump is at war with CNN as well, and flogged their correspondent during this week’s press conference for being part of a “fake news” organization.

 

And now, because he has to, enter ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who apparently hates it when folks use the word “Nazi” too loosely. Needless to say, Greenblatt also doesn’t qualify as a big fan of the President-elect.

“The President-elect’s use of Nazi Germany to make a political analogy is not only an inappropriate comparison on the merits, but it also coarsens our discourse and diminishes the horror of the Holocaust,” Greenblatt said in a stern statement (Apparently, “Nazi” should be kept for only special occasions, like the good service?).

“There are legitimate questions on all sides regarding foreign influence in the 2016 presidential race,” Greenblatt explained, “But the United States has democratic elections, a free press, rule of law and a civil service – including our intelligence agencies – that is deeply loyal to the US Constitution. These facts invalidate any analogies between America and totalitarian societies.”

That’s always good to know, by the way.

Greenblatt continued, extra-sober: “ADL always has maintained that glib comparisons to Nazi Germany are offensive and a trivialization of the Holocaust. We have a long record of speaking out when both Democrats and Republicans engage in such overheated rhetoric. It would be helpful for the President-Elect to explain his intentions or apologize for the remark.”

OK, how about press releases that take a piggyback ride on a harmless “Nazi” from a tweeting president-to-be – does that also count as glib Holocaust trivialization? Just wondering.

In case you were wondering, President-elect Trump did not apologize, but, as expected, Greenblatt got some copy for a day (including this story), so everybody is happy.

So, for the record, we are NOT living in Nazi Germany, and next time the president wants to use the N word, he should call up Jonathan Greenblatt.

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