White House press secretary Sean Spicer had a major flub on Tuesday when he stated during his press briefing that Hitler never used chemical weapons during Holocaust.
Spicer spent Tuesday afternoon clarifying and apologizing on a handful of networks for his remarks, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi isn’t having it.
Pelosi released a statement Tuesday evening calling for President Trump to fire Sean Spicer over his comments.
“Sean Spicer must be fired, and the President must immediately disavow his spokesman’s statements. Either he is speaking for the President, or the President should have known better than to hire him,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“While Jewish families across America celebrate Passover, the chief spokesman of this White House is downplaying the horror of the Holocaust.”
At a press briefing on Tuesday, Spicer was asked a question surrounding Syrian dictator using chemical weapons. In an effort to illustrate the severity of that, he attempted to relate it to the atrocities carried out by Hitler.
“We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II,” Spicer said. “You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons, so you have to, if you’re Russia, ask yourself if this is a country you want to align yourself with.”
Spicer clarified his statement towards the end of the briefing, saying that he meant that Assad has used chemical weapons in a different manner than Hitler did.
Just to be clear, Hitler did use nerve agents against Jews in death camps during World War II.
“He was not using the gas on his own people the same way Assad used them — in the way that Assad used them where he went into a town and dropped them down on innocent civilians…I appreciate the clarification — that was not the intent,” Spicer explained.
Yes, it was a horrible idea to try and use that comparison — and Spicer knows that. Nevertheless, social media exploded today over the gaffe.
Spicer released a third statement after the briefing:
“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,” Spicer told a White House pool reporter.
Spicer made a mistake. Even though it was a really big one, he did the right thing and apologized several times — he owned it rather than making excuses.