Members of Congress sang 'Happy Birthday' to a 81-year-old Holocaust survivor at the State of the Union

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesWASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 05: Holocaust survivor Judah Samet, guest of President Trump, looks on during the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump’s second State of the Union address was postponed one week due to the partial government shutdown.
  • At the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, members of Congress sang an impromptu “Happy Birthday” to an 81-year-old Holocaust survivor.
  • Extraordinarily, Judah Samet also lived through the massacre at at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, President Donald Trump said.
  • During the song, which stopped the president’s address, Trump smiled broadly and conducted Congress with an imaginary baton from the podium.

President Donald Trump seemed to relish a positive moment during Tuesday night’s State of the Union when he led the House in a chorus of “Happy Birthday” to 81-year-old Holocaust survivor Judah Samet.

Samet not only lived through the beginning of World War II and the Holocaust that followed, but also made it through the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania earlier in the year, where 11 people were gunned down.

From the pulpit and well into his address, the president appeared to relax briefly as he grinned and conducted Congress in its impromptu birthday wishes.

“Today is Judah’s 81st birthday. Judah says he can still remember the exact moment, nearly 75 years ago, after 10 months in a concentration camp, when he and his family were put on a train, and told they were going to another camp,” Trump said.

Recounting Samet’s story, the president described the moment of his family’s liberation.

“Suddenly the train screeched to a halt. A soldier appeared. Judah’s family braced for the worst. Then, his father cried out with joy: “It’s the Americans.”

Earlier in his speech, Trump called anti-Semitism a “vile poison.”

The president also singled another guest, SWAT Officer Timothy Matson, a first responder at the synagogue shooting was was shot repeatedly.

Joshua Kaufman, a survivor of the Dachau concentration camp, was also in attendance.

Last year, the president was criticised for a statement marking Holocaust Remembrance Day that didn’t actually mention Jewish people. He was also accused of dog-whistling to anti-Semites during his campaign and afterwards.

“With one voice, we must confront this hatred anywhere and everywhere it occurs,” Trump said on Tuesday.

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