Larry Pitmann, a representative in the North Carolina General Assembly, said Lincoln was the “same sort of tyrant as” the Nazi dictator, who was responsible for the deaths of millions.
Pittman, was responding to comments on Facebook criticizing him for introducing a bill in the North Carolina legislature that would render the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage inapplicable in his state.
“You aren’t fit to hold public office in the United States of America if you don’t respect the Supreme Court and the Constitution,” one Facebook user wrote.
Pittman replied, “And if Hitler had won, should the world just get over it? Lincoln was the same sort of tyrant, and personally responsible for the deaths of over 800,000 Americans in a war that was unnecessary and unconstitutional.”
Pittman did not respond to request for comment from TIME to clarify his remarks.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer found himself embroiled in controversy when he said at his daily briefing Tuesday that Hitler, who was responsible for the gassing of millions of people, didn’t stoop to level of Syrian President Bashar-al Assad and use chemical weapons as a mechanism for murder. “He was not using gas on his own people the way Assad is doing,” Spicer said. He subsequently apologized for his comments.
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Write to Alana Abramson at Alana.Abramson@time.com