Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.) appeared to accuse President Trump and his administration of being Holocaust deniers on Sunday morning during NBC's "Meet the Press."
Host Chuck Todd asked Kaine to weigh in on the executive order that Trump signed on Friday halting refugees from entering the United States. Kaine responded by criticizing White House chief of staff Reince Priebus for his defense of the executive order earlier on the show, adding that he was confused about Trump's policy.
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"It does affect green card holders, and they're being caught up in it. It affects people on special immigrant visas like interpreters who helped the U.S. military in foreign countries and now their lives are at risk, and so we've given them a special status to come to this country," Kaine said.
Kaine claimed the executive order is a "religious test" and that it holds Muslims to a different standard than Christians. He then compared the executive order to Trump's White House statement for Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday, which he said "scrubbed" any reference to Jews.
"So you put a religious test on Muslims, and you try to scrub reference to Jews in the Holocaust remembrance. This was horribly, horribly mishandled," Kaine said.
"That's a tough charge, senator. Do you think it's more than a coincidence that it all happened on Friday?" Todd asked.
Kaine defended his claim by blaming White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and his former news organization, Breitbart, of peddling "white supremacy" and "anti-Semitism." He then went on reiterate that the White House proclamation did not reference "Jews" and that previous administrations referenced the killing of six million Jews during their statements on the Holocaust.
"We have to remember this. This is what Holocaust denial is. It's either to deny that it happened or many Holocaust deniers acknowledge, ‘Oh, yeah, people were killed, but it was a lot of innocent people. Jews weren't targeted,'" Kaine said. "The fact that they did that and imposed this religious test against Muslims in the executive orders on the same day is not a coincidence."
Hope Hicks, the White House director of strategic communications, told CNN that the administration did not reference Jews or anti-Semitism because there were many non-Jewish people killed by the Nazis and they wanted to take into account "all of those who suffered."
Trump's son-in-law and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family, and the president's daughter, Ivanka, converted to Judaism before she married Kushner.