CNN host Christiane Amanpour walked back Monday her recent statement comparing President Trump’s record and the Nazi pogrom Kristallnacht, saying she “should not have juxtaposed the two thoughts.”
Her statement came after a torrent criticism over her Thursday comment from Jewish groups and the government of Israel, which called in a letter Sunday for her to issue an “immediate and public apology.”
At the end of Monday’s show, she said, “I observed the 82nd anniversary of Kristallnacht, as I often do.”
“It is the event that began the horrors of the Holocaust. I also noted President Trump’s attacks on history, facts, knowledge, and truth,” Ms. Amanpour said, as reported by the Times of Israel. “I should not have juxtaposed the two thoughts.”
Ms. Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent, continued: “Hitler and his evils stand alone, of course, in history. I regret any pain my statement may have caused.”
During her Thursday show, she marked the anniversary of Kristallnacht, or “the night of broken glass,” which saw Nazi Germany forces destroy Jewish-owned businesses, schools, buildings and synagogues, arresting about 30,000 men and sending them to concentration camps.
“It was the Nazis’ warning shot across the bow of our human civilization that led to genocide against a whole identity, and in that tower of burning books, it led to an attack on fact, knowledge, history and truth,” said Ms. Amanpour. “After four years of a modern-day assault on those same values by Donald Trump, the Biden-Harris team pledges a return to norms, including the truth.”
Israeli Minister of Diaspora Affairs Omer Yankelevich called it an “unacceptable comparison” in her letter to CNN President Jeffrey Zucker.
“We find hereby the false equivalence made between the actions of a sitting US president and the atrocities of the Kristallnacht pogroms which were carried out by the Nazis eighty-two years ago belittling of the immense tragedy of the Holocaust,” Ms. Yankelevich said.
Polls show Mr. Trump, who has a Jewish daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren, enjoys strong support in Israel, where he has been praised for his pro-Israel policies, including the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and exit from the Iran nuclear deal.
The National Council of Young Israel called the comparison “abhorrent.”
“Irrespective of one’s political beliefs, equating President Trump, who has been a great friend of Israel and a staunch opponent of anti-Semitism, with Nazi Germany is beyond the pale and we call on Ms. Amanpour to issue a public apology for her reprehensible remarks,” said NCYI President Farley Weiss in a Monday statement.