White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer apologized for the remarks he made Tuesday in which he criticized Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by saying that Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” despite the Nazi dictator’s use of gas chambers to kill millions of Jews during the Holocaust.
“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, and frankly I mistakenly used an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust for which frankly there is no comparison,” Spicer said later Tuesday in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
“For that I apologize, it was a mistake to do that,” Spicer added.
Spicer’s initial comments prompted widespread backlash on social media, with users questioning his comparison and use of the phrase “Holocaust centers” to describe death and concentration camps. Spicer’s remarks came during Passover — the most widely celebrated Jewish holiday in the United States.