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Allen West camp apologizes for 'Muslim extermination' meme

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Former U.S. Rep. Allen West talks to the media after meeting with Vice President-elect Mike Pence at Trump Tower on Dec. 5 in New York City. (Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

Former congressman and retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Allen West was the target of liberal outrage after a meme was posted on his very popular Facebook page that seemed to advocate for the extermination of Muslims.

The offensive meme was later removed after much furor, and Allen West's website editor posted this apology on West's Facebook page:

Message to our followers: Hello everyone. This is Michele Hickford, Editor-in-Chief of allenbwest.com. On Friday night, without Allen West’s knowledge or consent, a meme was posted to this Facebook page which was reprehensible in its message.

As editor in chief, I must take full responsibility for this, although I was not the one who posted it, and it was posted without my knowledge. I neither condone nor support the message included in the meme.

This meme was not created by me or any of our writers. It was reposted from another source.

The image has been removed. Its message was despicable, offensive to many, and a terrible error in judgement by the person who posted it. Furthermore, it does not reflect Col. West's beliefs, principles and values.

I (Michele Hickford) am deeply sorry for the distress this has caused so many people.

The meme featured President-elect Donald Trump's pick for secretary of defense, retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, with the assertion that the president-elect had hired him to "exterminate" Muslims:

The meme was even used by Buzzfeed's editor in an attempt to get Mattis to respond to the absurd charge he was hired to exterminate Muslims:

That suggestion was quickly shot down by conservatives who noted the absurdity of making Mattis answer for memes made about him that he had no hand in.

Despite the apology offered by West's editor, he's still being criticized for the deleted post:

But Trump doesn't seem like the type to let media-generated outrage get in the way of what he wants. And if he wants West in his administration, it's doubtful a meme will prevent it.

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