President Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer has said that Hitler “didn’t use chemical weapons”, causing an uproar.
He was making an appoint about Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, criticising him for using chemical weapons.
“You know, 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, is this a country that you and a regime that you want to align yourself with?” he said.
But his comments ignored the fact that Adolf Hitler used gas to kill millions of Jewish people during the Holocaust.
They were also made during the most widely celebrated Jewish holiday, Passover.
He later clarified the comments, saying: “I think when you come to sarin gas, there was no — he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Ashad [sic] is doing. I mean, there was clearly, I understand your point. Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that. There was not, in the, he brought them into the Holocaust centres, I understand that. But I’m saying, in the way that Assad used them where he went into towns, dropped them down to innocent—into the middle of towns, it was brought, the use of it. I appreciate the clarification. That was not the intent.”
Spicer has since apologised, saying he 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, and frankly, I mistakenly used an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust for which frankly there is no comparison.”
He denied that he was “trying to lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust.”
“I was trying to draw a distinction of the tactic of using aeroplanes to drop chemical weapons on population centers,” he continued. “Any attack on innocent people is reprehensible and inexcusable.”
“For that, I apologise, it was a mistake to do that,” Spicer continued in a later interview with Wolf Blitzer at CNN.
Spicer was widely criticised for his original remarks, and for his use of the phrase “Holocaust centres” to describe death camps and concentration camps.
Watch Spicer’s apology below:
Sean Spicer: I mistakenly used an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust, there is no comparison https://t.co/Jgc1ccgMeK
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) April 11, 2017
In January, President Trump was criticised for omitting to mention Jewish people in a speech he made for Holocaust Memorial Day.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum responded to say: “The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored murder of six million Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators.
The museum added that “innocent civilians”, but added that “the elimination of Jews was central to Nazi policy.”
“As Elie Wiesel said, ‘Not all victims were Jews, but all Jews were victims.’ … An accurate understanding of this history is critical if we are to learn its lessons and honor its victims.”
Spicer previously was torn apart by Melissa McCarthy on SNL.
But President Trump apparently wasn’t happy that he was “mocked by a woman”.