During his daily press briefing Tuesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that Bashar al-Assad’s chemical attack against the citizens of Syria was worse than Adolph Hitler’s actions during World War II because Hitler didn’t gas “his own people” the way that the Syrian president did.
After a question regarding Russia’s support of Assad, Spicer responded, “We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II.”
“You know, you had […] Someone as despicable as Hitler, who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” he added, seemingly forgetting that Hitler used gas chambers during the Holocaust.
He later tried to clarify his remarks by saying, “I think when you come to sarin gas, there was no […] [Hitler] was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing.”
His comments soon started trending on social media, and the backlash was swift and harsh.
The Anne Frank Center even called for Spicer to be fired following his comments.
The U.S. Holocaust Museum also posted a video on Twitter, seemingly in response to Spicer’s comments, showing what U.S. Forces found when they liberated Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar, Germany, in 1945.
In a follow-up statement to NBC News, Spicer, again, tried to clarify his comments, saying, “In no way was I trying to lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust. However, I was trying to draw a contrast of the tactic of using airplanes to drop chemical weapons on innocent people.”