U.S. State Department to investigate swastika carved into elevator

·1 min read

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A swastika was found carved into the wall of a U.S. State Department elevator, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday, prompting an investigation into how the symbol of Nazi hate ended up in the seat of American diplomacy.

State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter told reporters that the swastika was discovered late on Monday and that Secretary of State Antony Blinken has addressed the incident with department staff.

"This hateful graffiti has been removed and this incident will be investigated. As the secretary has shared with a message to all of our employees, this is completely abhorrent. It's a painful reminder that anti-Semitism isn't a relic of the past, it's still a force that we're dealing with in the world and unfortunately we're dealing with it close to home," Porter said.

"Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States and certainly has no place in the State Department," she added.

The State Department is working on the nomination of a special envoy to combat anti-Semitism, Porter said, adding that it hopes to have person in place soon.

The incident was first reported by Axios, which said the swastika was in an elevator near the special envoy's office.

The swastika, originally an ancient Hindu religious symbol, was adopted by Germany's Nazi Party and became a symbol of far-right hatred.

(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis, Doyinsola Oladipo and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Alistair Bell)

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