Donald Trump’s press secretary was asked today about Syria—specifically why he thinks Russian president Vladimir Putin should abandon his support for Bashar al-Assad’s regime. It didn’t go well.
Somehow, Sean Spicer tried to make the argument that Assad was worse than Adolf Hitler, saying the Nazi leader “was not using the gas on his own people the same way.” (The Nazis gassed millions of people, including many Germans).
Here’s the transcript:
SPICER: You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons. So, you have to if you are Russia ask yourself if this is a country and a regime that you want to align yourself with?
REPORTER: “Hitler didn’t even sink to the level of using chemical weapons.” What do you mean by that?
SPICER: When you come to sarin gas, there was no, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Ashad [sic] is doing. I mean there was clearly. I, I understand [inaudible], thank you.
The gaffe had the double-whammy of taking place during Passover, and on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp.
After the disastrous press conference, the White House sent several tweets in an attempt to amend Spicer’s comments.