Sunday, September 23, 2018

Donald Trump’s former communications chief is at the centre of fresh controversy after his new media project tweeted an online poll asking people to select how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

Since being abruptly forced from the White House after just 11 days by Mr Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly, Anthony Scaramucci has been getting ready to launch a new media venture, titled the Scaramucci Post.

Launched in collaboration with former hedge fund manager Lance Laifer, the undertaking was unveiled at an event two weeks ago, though the men provided few details about the project they were giving birth to.

Mr Scaramucci, who was forced out from his White House job in July, told a New York radio station his news outlet “would be about what is right and wrong in the society right now, as opposed to what is left and right”.

Yet while Mr Scaramucci was in the UK – on Monday he addressed the Oxford Union – his fledgling media outlet created outcry by posting a Twitter poll asking people how many Jews lost their lives in the Holocaust. The Nazi campaign to wipe out Jews and other minorities from Europe, resulted in the deaths of six million Jews along with countless numbers of Roma and prisoners of war from countries such as the Soviet Union.

The poll posted by the Scarammuci Post asked people too choose from one of four answers, ranging from “less than one million” to “more than five million”.

The Anti-Defamation League, which campaigns against antisemitism, was among many groups and individuals demanding that the post be removed.

“This question is beyond resolved @scaramuccipost. Take it down,” the ADL tweeted.

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a later statement that removing the survey was the right move: “The Twitter poll was clearly insensitive and could play into the hands of Holocaust deniers.”

The post was taken down within two hours.

“The intent of the poll was to highlight ignorance of the basic facts of the Holocaust. I take full responsibility for it,” said a Scaramucci Post tweet.

A following tweet, added: “This is @lancelaifer and I apologise if anyone was offended by the Holocaust poll.”

CNN reporter Jake Tapper said on Twitter: “Source close to @Scaramucci says he’s “furious” about Holocaust-denying tweet. It will be taken down as soon as possible.”