House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is calling on President Trump to fire White House press secretary Sean Spicer for his comments Tuesday about Hitler’s use of chemical weapons during 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,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“While Jewish families across America celebrate Passover, the chief spokesman of this White House is downplaying the horror of the Holocaust.”
At a press briefing on Tuesday, Spicer attempted to make the case that the Russian government should reconsider its alliance with Syria because of dictator Bashar al-Assad’s recent use of sarin gas. Spicer said that the use of the nerve agent in an attack earlier this month went even beyond Hitler’s actions during the Holocaust.
“We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II,” Spicer said. “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 if this is a country you want to align yourself with.” (RELATED: Spicer: Not Even Hitler Used Chemical Weapons Like Assad)
Spiecer attempted to clarify his remarks later in the briefing, saying that he meant to say that Assad has used chemical weapons in a different manner than did Hitler. Assad’s forces dropped chemical weapons attached to bombs. Hitler used the nerve agent Zyklon B against Jews in death camps during World War II.
“He was not using the gas on his own people the same way Assad used them — in the way that Assad used them where he went into a town and dropped them down on innocent civilians…I appreciate the clarification — that was not the intent,” he said.
Despite his attempt to set the record straight, social media erupted in outrage at the comments. That prompted Spicer to release a third statement after the briefing.
“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,” Spicer told a White House pool reporter.