Harvard Law Professor Sparks Outrage With 'Camps' Comment on Ad for Summit on Principled Conservatism

Harvard Law professor Adrian Vermuele drew criticism Thursday for a tweet that apparently compared participants in a meeting for conservatives who do not support President Donald Trump to people who were sent to concentration camps.

Included in Vermuele's tweet was an advertisement for the February 29 Summit on Principled Conservatism which presented photos of some of the scheduled speakers for the event, including commentator Bill Kristol, political strategist Sarah Longwell and columnist Sarah Quinlan.

"The very first group for the camps," Vermuele tweeted.

The perceived comparison between the group of conservatives and those who were sent to Nazi concentration camps during World War II raised the ire of some Twitter users, while some wondered if Vermuele's intention was humorous.

"Outrageous!" tweeted patient advocate Peter Morley. "I'm a 3rd Generation Holocaust Survivor. @Harvard @Harvard_Law PLEASE ADDRESS THIS AT ONCE!"

"Hey, populist-right friends, this okay with you?" tweeted Damon Linker, a columnist for The Week. "All in good fun? Is this what 'anti-liberalism' means to you, too? Your friend here sure sounds like a fascist. If he's not, who is?"

"Testing out new material before he goes on the road," tweeted author Tom Nichols.

Vermuele himself tweeted a response to the uproar, noting his original tweet's "ambiguity."

"Dull and humorless or perfectly deadpan? It's the ambiguity that makes it art!"

Newsweek reached out to Harvard Law for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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A Harvard Law professor said that a group of principled conservatives would be "the very first group for the camps" Thursday, sparking controversy on Twitter. Getty

Principled conservatives have talked about their opposition to Trump's cult of personality. In a December op-ed piece published in The New York Times, conservative Trump critic George Conway and three other Republicans explained why they chose to break with Republicans who unequivocally support the president.

"National Republicans have done far worse than simply march along to Mr. Trump's beat," the article read. "Their defense of him is imbued with an ugliness, a meanness and a willingness to attack and slander those who have shed blood for our country, who have dedicated their lives and careers to its defense and its security, and whose job is to preserve the nation's status as a beacon of hope."

"Mr. Trump and his enablers have abandoned conservatism and longstanding Republican principles and replaced them with Trumpism, an empty faith led by a bogus prophet," the article continued.

Some Republicans who support Trump, however, agree with his interpretation of Article II of the Constitution which gives him practically absolute power.

"I have the right to do whatever I want as president," Trump said in 2019.

Trump also told reporters in February that he considered himself to be the highest-ranking law enforcement authority in the country.

"I'm allowed to be totally involved" in the U.S. justice system, Trump told reporters. "I'm actually, I guess, the chief law enforcement officer of the country. But I've chosen not to be involved."

Harvard Law Professor Sparks Outrage With 'Camps' Comment on Ad for Summit on Principled Conservatism | U.S.