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11th Apr 2017

Sean Spicer comes under fire for claiming Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons

Conor Heneghan

The White House press secretary made the comments while discussing recent chemical attacks in Syria.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer has come in for huge criticism after claiming that Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons” while discussing recent chemical weapons attacks in Syria that prompted a response from the United States earlier this month.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Spicer said: “We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II. You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”

Spicer was asked to clarify the remarks about Hitler, to which he responded: “I think when you come to sarin gas, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing.”

Stumbling in his response to a reporter, Spicer continued: “Thank you, I appreciate that. There was not in the… he brought them into the Holocaust centres… I understand that. But I’m saying in the way that Assad used them, where he went into towns, dropped them down into the middle of towns.

“So, the use of it, I appreciate the clarification. That was not the intent.”

Later, Spicer released a statement, which read:

“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 centres. Any attack on innocent people is reprehensible and inexcusable.”

Despite his attempts at a clarification, Spicer attracted widespread criticism for his remarks, with the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, based in New York, calling on Donald Trump to fire him immediately.