Earlier today (Dec. 25) Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus, released a holiday greeting that appears to have sparked the controversy.
Priebus, who is also incoming White House chief of staff, wrote a statement that is being interpreted as comparing President-Elect Donald Trump to Jesus, resulting in quite the backlash throughout the course of the Christmas holiday today.
"Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind," part of the statement reads. "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 combination of certain phrases such as, "this Christmas" and "a new King" has many interpreting the words to mean that the GOP views Trump as comparable to Jesus.
"So the RNC things Trump is our New King?" one Twitter user wrote, reacting to the statement. "Coming again as Jesus did? This is getting really spooking. What kind of Kool-Aid is that?"
While others, including other Republicans, took to Twitter to share their reactions, many demanded that Priebus issue an apology for making such an unacceptable statement, while others took his message to simply be making a seasonally-fitting reference to Jesus.
As reported by Buzzfeed, RNC spokesman Sean Spicer shared that he was offended when asked to clarify if such a comparison was intentional.
"I hope you are kidding," Spicer commented via email. "Christ is the King in the Christian faith. To ask this on Christmas is frankly offensive."
Take a look at some tweets reacting to Reince Priebus' statement below, as well as view his commentary in full here.
So the RNC thinks Trump is our New King? Coming again as Jesus did? This is getting really spooking. What kind of Kool-Aid is that? https://t.co/9Mf5zEA89G— Paul Ybarra (@ybarrap) December 25, 2016
The distinction between a president and a king is not trivial https://t.co/8At2sHon1E— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) December 25, 2016
New King 👏 is 👏 referring 👏 to 👏 Jesus👏 please 👏 stop 👏 this 👏 nonsense.https://t.co/ztSecJv72V— William Piereson (@JWP1022) December 25, 2016
The king referenced here is Jesus. https://t.co/nZQuG4f8Ai— Justin Green (@JGreenDC) December 25, 2016
Way too clever. Innocent error, poor writing. But had the Dems done it, the outrage would be thermonuclear and lasting. https://t.co/mf5CJCAsnI— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) December 25, 2016
No matter which "new King" #GOP meant in its Xmas massage, after 8 years— John Schindler (@20committee) December 25, 2016
I've had quite enough of POTUS-as-godlike-cult-leader, thanks.
(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)