Sean Spicer has said Hitler “didn’t sink to using chemical weapons” so everyone else is explaining to him what the Holocaust was.
The White House press secretary was discussing how Syrian dictator Bashar Assad had gassed his people, prompting an American missile strike last week against the regime.
“We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II. You know, you had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” he told reporters.
The Nazis gassed millions of people during the Holocaust.
When Washington Post journalist Ashley Parker asked Spicer to clarify, he said the Nazi leader “was not using the gas on his own people the same way... he brought them into the Holocaust centers.”
Parker’s blow-by-blow reaction was captured on Twitter.
MSNBC was quick to break the news and explain why Spicer was wrong.
The phrase “Holocaust centers” was an odd description of concentration camps where millions died.
It is true Hitler did not use chemical weapons in battle during the Second World War, which led some to suggest this is what Spicer meant.
And others to suggest this was not the point.
Spicer later said he was “in no way” 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,” he said.
Democratic Party Chairman Tom Perez called Spicer’s comments “shameful” and called on the White House to apologise.
Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz, who is Jewish, said he found “nothing funny about the Press Secretary bungling Holocaust history” and Spicer should not get the benefit of the doubt.
The Anne Frank Center released a scathing statement saying Spicer should be fired.
“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,” the center’s executive director, Steven Goldstein, said.
“Spicer’s statement is 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.”