White House press secretary Sean Spicer apologized on CNN Tuesday for referencing the Holocaust in remarks about the recent chemical weapons attack in Syria believed to have been carried out by the Assad regime.
“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,” Spicer told Wolf Blitzer. “And frankly, I mistakenly used an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust, for which frankly, there is no, there is no comparison. And for that I apologize. It was a mistake to do that.”
Spicer attempted to make the case in the briefing that the Assad regime went further than Hitler did in the Holocaust, because he used chemical weapons on his own people. “We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II,” he told the press. “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: Pelosi Calls On Trump To Fire Spicer Over Hitler Gaffe)
Blitzer pressed Spicer further on CNN, asking him to tell viewers exactly who he was apologizing to, and mentioned Holocaust survivors who reportedly couldn’t believe the White House press secretary would draw the comparison.
“Well clearly anybody who, not just suffered in the Holocaust or is a descendant of anybody, but frankly anyone who was offended by those comments,” Spicer replied. “As I said, I’m not in any way standing by them. I was trying to draw a comparison for which there shouldn’t have been one.
“It was insensitive and inappropriate,” he continued. “So I’m not looking to quantify this in any way. It was an attempt to talk about — I should have stayed focused on the Assad regime, and the dangers that they have brought to their own people, and the terrible atrocities they did. And to drag any other comparison into this was not appropriate.”
Send tips to rachel@