White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer stepped into a quagmire during the Tuesday April 11 White House Press briefing when he tried to draw a parallel between the chemical weapons used in the April 4 Syrian attack and the gas chambers used by Adolf Hitler during the Holocaust.
“You had a — you know, someone as despicable as Hitler, who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” Spicer said. When asked to clarify his remarks to ABC’s Cecile Vega, Spicer responded, “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 Assad is doing.”
Spicer went on to say that Hitler brought his victims into the Holocaust Center, a likely misspeak for concentration camps.
“But I’m saying that in the way that Assad used them, where he went in towns, dropped them down to innocent — into the middle of towns — it was brought, so the use of it — I appreciate the clarification,” he said, adding, “That was not the intent.”
Okay, I get the point Spicer is trying to make. Hitler’s use of gas was targeted, Assad’s was indiscriminate. Rule number one. Never use Hitler’s name’s to advance an argument. Spicer also added insult to injury by uttering this atrocious analogy to one of the darkest period’s in the history of the Jewish people, during the week of Passover.
The media are, of course, up in arms about Spicer’s Holocaust reference and have sounded the cry for his ouster. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has also called for Spicer’s removal:
“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.”
The Anne Frank Center on Mutual Respect took to Twitter to express their outrage over Spicer’s remarks. “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,” said Executive Director of center Steven Goldstein 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 issued an immediate apology for his comments. “I mistakenly used an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust for which frankly there is no comparison. For that I apologize, it was a mistake to do that.”
What will President Trump do? Will he stand by Spicer who lately has been holding his own during the daily press briefings? Or was this Holocaust reference too big to overlook. After all the role of the press secretary is to communicate the president’s agenda and to put out public relations fires as necessary. The press secretary should not be igniting media firestorms.
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