White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer just learned in real time what happens when you paint Hitler as the lesser of two evils.
During Tuesday’s press briefing, when Spicer was asked how the Russian alliance with the Bashar Assad regime might be affected after the U.S. strike on Syria for its horrific gas attack last week, Spicer evoked the genocidal dictator, arguing that even Adolf Hitler “didn’t sink to using chemical weapons” during World War II.
“We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II. You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” Spicer said. “So you have to, if you’re Russia, ask yourself, is this a country that you and a regime that you want to align yourself with?”
Spicer, as any modern high school student can likely attest, is wrong — Hitler did in fact sink to using chemical weapons when he had Nazis use Zyklon B gas to murder Jews and other minorities in concentration camp gas chambers during World War II. Moreover, sarin gas, the chemical weapon that Assad reportedly used in last week’s atrocity, was actually first developed and used by Nazi scientists.
Realizing he’d made a mistake, Spicer tried to backtrack minutes later while still standing at the podium.
That just made it worse.
“I think when you come to sarin gas, [Hitler] was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing,” Spicer said. “He brought them into the Holocaust center, I understand that. But I’m saying in the way that Assad used them, where he went into towns, dropped them down into the middle of towns.”
Hitler also did use chemical weapons on his own people during World War II — when he had Jewish Germans killed.
After Spicer got off the air, the press secretary scrambled to further clarify his remarks by saying by he had only been trying to “draw a contrast.”
Minutes after issuing that clarification, Spicer clarified again — this time, changing, “innocent people” to “population centers.”
Then, when perhaps realizing that people killed in the Holocaust were also innocents, Spicer released a fourth clarification and tacked on a new sentence:
These clarifications did little to help the beleaguered press secretary. The Anne Frank Center’s executive director, Steven Goldstein, called for President Donald Trump to immediately fire Spicer for “[engaging] in Holocaust denial, the most offensive form of fake news imaginable, by denying Hitler gassed millions of Jews to death.”
Goldstein went on, “Spicer’s statement is the most evil slur upon a group of people we have ever heard from a White House press secretary.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also reportedly called for Spicer to be booted: