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Spicer’s Hitler Comparison Gets a Lot of Push Back

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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer may have crossed a line today when he tried to compare the actions taken this week by Bashar al Assad to the actions Adolf Hitler took during World War II.

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

During today’s press briefing, Spicer said this:

 I think a couple things.  You look — we didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II.  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?  You have previously signed on to international agreements rightfully acknowledging that the use of chemical weapons should be out of bounds by every country.  To not stand up to not only Assad, but your own word, should be troubling.

The comparison to Hitler received nearly immediate push back as many people commented that the German dictator used a lot of chemical weapons to kill millions of people. For her part, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for Spicer to be fired:

In a statement, Pelosi said, “While Jewish families across America celebrate Passover, the chief spokesman of this White House is downplaying the horror of the Holocaust. 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.”

For his part, Spicer issued several statements clarifying what he meant when he said that “Hitler didn’t sink to using chemical weapons.”

Spicer later apologized, saying, “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. And for that I apologize. It was a mistake to do that.”

CNN’s Jake Tapper suggested the press secretary take some time to visit a Holocaust Museum.

 

 

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