Trump sent message of congratulations to Poland on World War II anniversary

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenators demand more details from Trump on intel watchdog firing Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal Trump says he'll look into small business loan program restricting casinos MORE on Sunday weighed in on the 80-year anniversary of Germany invading Poland to begin World War II by offering Poland a message of congratulations.

While speaking to reporters on the South Lawn, Trump was asked if he had a message for Poland on the anniversary of the Nazi invasion that took place on Sept. 1, 1939.

“Mr. President, do you have a message for Poland on the 80th anniversary of the Second World War?“ a reporter asked.

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“I do have a great message for Poland,” Trump responded. “And we have Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePence says he'll attend Easter services from home States battle each other for equipment in supply chain crunch Watch Live: Trump, White House coronavirus task force press briefing MORE, our vice president, is just about landing right now. And he is representing me."

"I look forward to being there soon. But I just want to congratulate Poland,” he continued. “It’s a great country with great people. We also have many Polish people in our country; it could be 8 million. We love our Polish friends. And I will be there soon.”

The day is more a day of remembrance in Poland than a day of celebration. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier marked the occasion by asking Poland for forgiveness for his nation's aggression.

"This was a German war crime," Steinmeier said at a ceremony also attended by Pence.

Trump had been scheduled to visit Poland on Saturday and Sunday to attend ceremonies commemorating the anniversary in Warsaw. He canceled the trip on Thursday, however, due to Hurricane Dorian, which is expected to hit the United States.

Pence, who visited Poland in Trump’s place over the weekend, offered more somber remarks than the president in an address from Pilsudski Square on Sunday, The Washington Post reported

“It is difficult for any of us who are not Poles to fathom the horrors that began here 80 years ago, on this day, the first of September 1939,” the vice president said.

“While the hearts of every American are with our fellow citizens in the path of a massive storm, today we remember how the gathering storm of the 20th century broke into warfare and invasion followed by the unspeakable hardship and heroism shown by the Polish people,” he continued. 

He also called out the “twisted ideologies of Nazism and Communism” in his remarks, as well as the “unspeakable evil of the Holocaust,” which he noted, “systemically murdered more than 3 million of Poland’s Jewish citizens.”