Heads were turning after Tuesday’s press briefing when White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, “You had someone as despicable as Hitler, who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” while talking about last week’s chemical weapons attack in Syria.
Spicer attempted to clarify the remark during the briefing by saying, “When it comes to sarin gas, [Hitler] was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing.” He then appeared to refer to concentration camps as “Holocaust centers” when he tried to further clarify his comments by saying, “He brought them into the Holocaust centers, I understand that. I was saying in the way that Assad used them where he went into town, dropped them into the middle of town.”
“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,” he continued to explain about his remarks in a statement to NBC News.
However, that statement was then amended two additional times. In one amendment, “innocent people” was changed to “population centers,” while a second amendment added the sentence, “Any attack on innocent people is reprehensible and inexcusable.”
Spicer’s original comments were met with outrage on social media and by the Anne Frank Center, which called for him to be fired.
“On Passover no less, Sean Spicer has engaged in Holocaust denial, the most offensive form of fake news imaginable, by denying Hitler gassed millions of Jews to death,” Executive Director Steven Goldstein wrote on Facebook. “Spicer’s statement is the most evil slur upon a group of people we have ever heard from a White House press secretary. Sean Spicer now lacks the integrity to serve as White House press secretary, and President Trump must fire him at once.”