Donald Trump Jr. and the Trump campaign both defended his “gas chamber” quip in a Thursday interview, saying that he was making a reference to capital punishment rather than the Holocaust, as many had interpreted it.
Trump Jr.’s remark to a Philadelphia radio station that the media would be “warming up the gas chamber” if Republicans acted the way Democrats did this election cycle stirred up controversy and ire from many, including the Anti-Defamation League, which asked him to apologize on Twitter:
— ADL (@ADL_National) September 15, 2016
Trump Jr. later told NBC News that he stands by his comments, adding that he normally uses the phrase “electric chair” to make the same point about executions.
The Trump campaign defended the real estate scion as well, blaming the media for taking the “gas chamber” remark “out of context.”
“The liberal, dishonest media is so quick to attack one of the Trumps that they never let the truth get in the way of a good smear,” Trump spokesman Jason Miller said in a statement, as quoted by NBC News. “Don Jr. was clearly referring to capital punishment to make the case that the media continues to take words out of context in order to serve as the propaganda arm of the Hillary Clinton campaign — something that’s only gotten worse as Trump’s poll numbers have improved.”