WASHINGTON — The annual Holocaust remembrance ceremony at the Capitol is typically a noncontroversial event. But Tuesday’s commemoration is fast becoming a rallying point for critics who accuse the Trump White House of courting white nationalists and playing down the suffering of Jews.

In his first three months in office, President Trump has found himself at the center of recurrent and at times bewildering controversies surrounding his relationship with Jews. His daughter Ivanka is a convert to Judaism and is raising her children Jewish.

This month, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said that Adolf Hitler had not used chemical weapons against his own people, though Mr. Spicer later apologized profusely. And in a news release for Tuesday’s event at the Capitol, the White House copied, nearly word for word, language posted on the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which is sponsoring the commemoration.

Some Jewish groups have already expressed concern about the White House chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, who was accused by a former wife of making anti-Jewish comments, and his deputy, Sebastian Gorka, who has been accused of links to far-right groups in Europe. The criticism goes back to the 2016 presidential campaign, when Trump supporters fired anti-Semitic attacks at his opponents and at journalists viewed as hostile to his candidacy.

Mr. Trump himself came under fire during the 2016 Republican primary campaign when he was slow to denounce the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

The latest controversies have done nothing to reassure concerned Jewish groups.

“I’ve struggled with whether or not I should even go, or to stay away in protest,” said Andrew J. Weinstein, a member of the museum’s board of trustees who was appointed by President Barack Obama. Ultimately, he decided to attend, “despite my deep concerns about the president and the people he’s surrounded himself with.”

“But there are many, many reasons not to,” said Mr. Weinstein, a Florida lawyer and Democratic fund-raiser.

Mr. Trump is expected to speak Tuesday at the Capitol during the museum’s Days of Remembrance ceremony.

On Sunday night, in a video shown to the plenary session of a World Jewish Congress event in New York City, Mr. Trump gave his most extensive remarks so far about the atrocities of the Holocaust as evidence of his “passion” on the topic, what he called “the darkest chapter of human history.”

“We mourn, we remember, we pray and we pledge: never again. I say it, never again,” Mr. Trump said in the video. “The mind cannot fathom the pain, the horror and the loss. Six million Jews, two-thirds of the Jews in Europe, murdered by the Nazi genocide. They were murdered by an evil that words cannot describe, and that the human heart cannot bear.”

He added: “We must stamp out prejudice and anti-Semitism everywhere it is found. We must defeat terrorism, and we must not ignore the threats of a regime that talks openly of Israel’s destruction. We cannot let that ever even be thought of.”

The event was not a heavy lift for Mr. Trump — he and the group’s president, Ronald S. Lauder, are longtime friends. Matthew Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, nonetheless pointed to the video as a chance for critics to “take a moment and listen to what he has to say.”

“There’s no question that right now the professional class of complainers are going to find whatever reason they want to criticize and take issue with anything the president does. The fact of the matter is, I think he should strongly be applauded,” said Mr. Brooks, whose organization is heavily backed by the casino magnate Sheldon G. Adelson.

Mr. Brooks said that Tuesday’s appearance at the Capitol is a chance for Mr. Trump to put the “absurd” notion that he is “soft on anti-Semitism” to rest.

“Could some things have been said somewhat differently” during the campaign, Mr. Brooks asked, answering, “Yes.”

But others said that Mr. Trump’s appearance amounts to too little, too late. More than 2,500 people signed an open letter, within the first hour of its posting, to support a request by Bend the Arc Jewish Action asking the Holocaust museum to withdraw its invitation to Mr. Trump. Others went on Twitter to urge their followers to call the museum to register their protest.

“Donald Trump and his administration have embraced the rhetoric and the agenda of white nationalism,” said Stosh Cotler, the chief executive of Bend the Arc Jewish Action. “This is not someone who deserves the platform of speaking at a national day of remembrance of the Holocaust.”

The museum said that since it opened in 1993, every president has participated in the Days of Remembrance. But Ms. Cotler said that “Donald Trump is not an ordinary president because of his demonization of immigrants, scapegoating of religious minorities, denigration of the press and attacks on the judicial system and the very foundations that maintain our free and democratic country.”

One board member who asked not to be identified said that board members from both political parties planned to skip the ceremony in silent protest of what they saw as repeated violating of the norms of tolerance by Mr. Trump.


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