The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, expressed contrition on national television Tuesday after he was widely condemned for claiming that Adolf Hitler, who gassed millions of Jews during the Holocaust, did not use chemical weapons.
The White House press secretary had faced a wave of criticism after claiming: ‘Even Hitler didn’t sink to using chemical weapons’.
Despite Nazi gas chambers being one of the darkest points of modern history, the Holocaust seemed to have slipped Sean Spicer’s mind at a press conference today.
Spicer was attempting to discuss the horror of the chemical weapons attack last week in Syria, which the Trump administration is blaming on PresidentBashar Assad.
‘We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II,’ said Spicer, adding that ‘someone as despicable as Hitler… didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.’
Up to 6,000 Jews were killed with the chemical Zyklon B every day in Auschwitz alone at the height of the horror.
Minutes later, Spicer tried to differentiate between Hitler’s actions and the gas attack on Syrian civilians last week- but made things much worse by saying Hitler didn’t use sarin ‘on his own people’.
The attack in northern Syria left nearly 90 people dead, and Turkey’s health minister said tests show sarin gas was used.
‘I think when you come to sarin gas, there was no, he (Hitler) was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing,’ Spicer said.
‘There was clearly … I understand your point, thank you. There was not … He brought them into the Holocaust center I understand that.
‘I appreciate the clarification. That was not the intent,’ he said.
Spicer attempted once again to explain himself in an early evening appearance on CNN, and issued an apology.
“I was obviously trying to make a point about the heinous acts that Assad had made against his own people last week, using chemical weapons and gas. Frankly, I mistakenly made an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust, for which there is no comparison,” Spicer said in an interview with Wolf Blitzer. “And for that I apologize. It was a mistake to do that.”