Sean Spicer: Syria’s Assad is worse than Hitler because he “was not using the gas on his own people”

Spicer invokes Adolf Hitler and brings "Holocaust center" into the American lexicon while getting history wrong

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published April 11, 2017 7:00PM (EDT)

Adolf Hitler; Sean Spicer   (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Adolf Hitler; Sean Spicer (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

In response to questions about the implications of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's chemical attacks, White House spokesperson Sean Spicer bizarrely invoked the gassing of Jews during the Holocaust to claim that Hitler  “didn't even sink to using chemical weapons."

At Tuesday’s White House press briefing, Spicer attempted to shame Russia's alliance with the Syrian president’s brutal regime by comparing Assad to Adolf Hitler.

"You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons," Spicer said. "He was not using the gas on his own people in the same way that Assad is doing."

Spicer also said that he knew Hitler brought gas to the “Holocaust center,” whatever that is.

Offered a chance to correct the record later during the briefing, Spicer simply said, "But in the way that Assad used them, where he went into towns and dropped them down to innocent in the middle of towns."

He continued: "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."

While Hitler and the Nazi’s may not have used sarin gas, it’s ludicrous to claim that he “was not using the gas” — to say nothing of Spicer’s curious qualifier, “on his own people.”

Reporters could be seen looking befuddled as he made the claim.

Of course, Hitler did use chemical gas chambers — even if the White House continues to omit any mention of the Holocaust from official statements.

Still, Spicer insisted on Tuesday, Trump won’t send in military troops or reconsider his refugee ban.

Hitler isn’t as bad, however, is an odd argument to make for non-intervention. 

Spicer later tried to clarify his statement:

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Adolf Hitler Bashar Assad Donald Trump Sean Spicer Syria