A prominent Jewish group criticized the White House on Wednesday for appointing to a commission that monitors Holocaust sites a speechwriter whom the White House had fired in 2018 for attending a gathering with white nationalists.
The speechwriter, Darren Beattie, was appointed this week to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad for a three-year term that will last into the Biden administration. The commission is tasked with identifying and preserving cemeteries and historic buildings in Europe, including sites used to kill primarily Jews during the Holocaust.
In 2018, Mr. Beattie was dismissed from his job as a speechwriter for Mr. Trump after the revelation that he had appeared on a panel in 2016 with Peter Brimelow, the founder of the anti-immigrant site VDare, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a hate website.
The Anti-Defamation League denounced Mr. Beattie’s appointment.
“It is absolutely outrageous that someone who has consorted with racists would even be considered for a position on a commission devoted to preserving Holocaust memorials in Europe,” said the group’s chief executive, Jonathan Greenblatt. “We urge the administration to rescind his appointment immediately.”
Asked for comment, Mr. Beattie said of the group: “The A.D.L. pretends to be an organization that protects Jews, but it really exists to protect Democrats. As a Jewish Trump supporter, I consider it an honor to be attacked by the far-left A.D.L. and its disgraced leader, Jonathan Greenblatt.” A White House spokesman declined to comment.
Mr. Beattie’s dismissal from the White House had followed criticism that the Trump administration has fostered anti-immigrant sentiment and ties to white nationalists.
Shortly after Mr. Trump took office, the White House issued a statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day that neglected to mention Jews. And in 2017, the president was denounced after saying there were “very fine people on both sides” after a protester was killed at a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va.