A stunned White House press corp listened as Sean Spicer gets his German history wrong.
Melissa McCarthy will certainly have a little more to work with on the next Saturday Night Live as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told a room full of reporters that Adolf Hitler did not use chemical weapons during World War II.
“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," Spicer said condemning Russia for backing Syria.
This comment, as expected, quickly caused a huge backlash, one because the statement is historically false and it was made on the first day of the Jewish holiday Passover.
Spicer then tried to explain what he meant, which caused even more confusion.
"When you come to sarin gas he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing.”
“He brought them to the Holocaust center, I understand that," he said after a reporter questioned his statement. Spicer then devolved into explaining that his comment weren’t being taken as he intended.
Of course Hitler did use chemical weapons. They weren’t used on the war path, but he did kill millions of his own people such as Jews, gays, communists and others with the deadly zyklon B poisonous gas in concentration camps.
Spicer’s apparent ignorance didn’t sit well with the Jewish community. The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect issued a statement that they wanted Trump to fire him.
“On Passover no less, Sean Spicer has engaged in Holocaust denial, the most offensive form of fake news imaginable,” Steven Goldstein, the group’s executive director, said in a statement. “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.”
Hillary Clinton’s daughter Chelsea went on Twitter to implore the Press Secretary to visit a nearby museum.
"I hope @PressSec takes time to visit @HolocaustMuseum. It's a few blocks away," Chelsea Clinton tweeted immediately after the comments.
Perhaps feeling the heat from the firestorm of criticism, Spicer made the following written statement nearly an hour after his press junket.
"In no way was I trying to lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust. I was trying to draw a distinction of the tactic of using airplanes to drop chemical weapons on population centers. Any attack on innocent people is reprehensible and inexcusable.”