Politics & Government

Trump adviser compares Holocaust to North Korea threats

Deputy assistant to President Trump, Sebastian Gorka, talks with people in the Treaty Room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington on May 2 during a ceremony commemorating Israeli Independence Day.
Deputy assistant to President Trump, Sebastian Gorka, talks with people in the Treaty Room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington on May 2 during a ceremony commemorating Israeli Independence Day. AP

A top adviser to President Donald Trump said Thursday that we should take a lesson from the Holocaust and take the North Korea threats seriously.

In response to incresing threats made by North Korea, including threatening a strike on Guam, Trump said if the country makes any more threats on the U.S. “they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

It was unclear what would cross Trump’s line, but some were critical that the statement sounded like Trump was open to using nuclear weapons.

Gorka, explaining those comments in an interview with BBC’s Radio 4, explained why he thought that language was necessary using an anecdote he said was told to him by a Holocaust survivor, who had lost his entire family in concentration camps.

“What is your one take-home? What is your one lesson learnt from the horrors of the millions killed?” Gorka said he asked the man, without naming him. “And he said, ‘It’s very simple. When a group of people repeatedly says they want to kill you, sooner or later you should take them seriously.’ ”

“North Korea has said they wish to annihilate the United States and use nuclear weapons. Sooner or later someone should take them seriously,” he continued. “The Clinton administration did not do so. The Obama administration did not do so. That stopped on January the 20th. We are not giving in to nuclear blackmail any longer.”

It isn’t the first time a top Trump staff member has compared a current national crisis to the Holocaust. Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer set off intense backlash in April for saying President Bashar al-Assad of Syria was guilty of acts worse than Adolf Hitler, because Hitler had not used chemical weapons. The Nazis used chemical weapons to kill thousands of people in concentration camps.

Spicer later apologized for the remark, saying it was not accurate.

“I was trying to draw a comparison for which there shouldn’t have been one,” Spicer said.

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