White House spokesman Sean Spicer came under fire Tuesday for suggesting that Adolf Hitler hadn’t used poison gas against civilians during World War II.
During the daily White House briefing, the press secretary seemed to be attempting to say that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his use of chemical weapons was even worse than anything even the notorious German leader had done.
“Hitler didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons” during World War II, he said.
Spicer’s comments obviously overlooked the Holocaust, where an estimated 6 million Jews were killed by poison gas and starvation in squalid concentration camps. It did not take social media long to point out his mistake.
Holocaust remembrance day: no mention of Jews in WH statement
Passover: Hitler didn't use chemical weapons
What will Rosh Hashana bring?
— Jessica Schulberg (@jessicaschulb) April 11, 2017
Minutes after the press briefing concluded, Spicer, who’d addressed a follow-up question seeking clarification during the briefing without disavowing the comparison he’d made, put out a statement on the matter: “In no way was I trying to lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust. I was trying to draw a distinction of the tactic of using airplanes to drop chemical weapons on population centers. Any attack on innocent people is reprehensible and inexcusable,” the statement said.