The Republican National Committee, RNC, has lashed out at critics after part of a Christmas “new King” message it made on Sunday sparked outrage on social media.
RNC spokesman and future Trump Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, said the “new King” in the message was not referring to President-elect Donald Trump.
According to him, however, “new King” was referring to Jesus Christ.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus released a three-paragraph statement on Sunday but it was the first paragraph that drew critics’ attention.
“Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Saviour who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind.
“Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King,” the Christmas message read.
The message kicked off a heated debate on social media over whether the reference to a “new King” was about President-elect Donald Trump.
John Weaver, a top aide to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, was among those who tweeted their displeasure with the statement.
“Dear RNC: We don’t have a “new King”. What the hell is wrong with you people?” Weaver wrote.
Other tweets included “@reince & @rnc should apologise for using Christmas to compare @realDonaldTrump to Jesus & calling him a “new king” and #GOPChristmasMessage either blasphemy or crowning Trump king of America. Either way disturbing”.
However, Spicer defended the message, telling CNN that the reference did not have anything to do with Trump and “Christ is the King in the Christian faith”.
“It is sad and disappointing you are politicising such a holy day,” Spicer said.
Priebus’ statement had also asked Americans to keep military members in their thoughts and prayers and to “rise to meet the material, emotional, and spiritual needs of individuals all around us”.