Sean Spicer faces backlash after claim: 'Even Hitler didn't use chemical weapons'

theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/11/sean-spicer-hitler-chemical-weapons-holocaust-assad

**Sean Spicer faces backlash after claim: ‘Even Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons’

The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, was widely condemned on Tuesday after claiming that Adolf Hitler, who gassed millions of Jews during the Holocaust, did not not use chemical weapons.

Comparing the Nazi leader with Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Spicer told journalists during his regular press briefing at the White House: “We didn’t use chemical weapons in world war two. You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”

Asked to clarify the remarks, he added: “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.”

A reporter in the room shouted that Jews had been targeted. Stuttering and gesticulating, Spicer stumbled on: “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.”

More than six million Jews were murdered, along with large numbers of Gypsies, gay people, political dissidents and others, during the Holocaust. Many were killed in gas chambers with the use of chemical gas agents such as Zyklon B. It is unclear if Spicer’s reference to “Holocaust centres” was to the gas chambers or to concentration camps or something else.

The statement came on the first day of Passover, the Jewish holiday which commemorates the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. The holiday is one of the holiest days in Judaism and has been used a metaphor for the oppression that Jews faced throughout history, including under Nazi Germany.**

What a shockingly misplaced, historically ignorant and carelessly uttered statement.

Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons? Hitler didn’t gas his own people?

So I suppose the estimated 160,000 to 180,000 German Jews killed under the Nazi regime, many of them in gas chambers, did not die as a result of “chemicals”? The 200,000 or more incurably ill, physically or mentally disabled, emotionally distraught, and elderly German citizens murdered through asphyxiation by means of poison gas in vans and chambers as part of the* T4 Euthanasia Program* as well? And the 20,000 German and Austrian Roma and Sinti murdered in mobile gas vans or deported to Auschwitz gas chambers? None of these victims were gassed according to the official spokesperson of the POTUS?

And he said this, of all times, during the Jewish Passover?

:eek:

Brian Finlay, president of the Stimson Center, a Washington defense policy group, said that “the Nazis would surely have been in contravention of the (Chemical Weapons Convention) had it being in effect during the second World War.

Granted, Hitler did not use chemical weapons in battle but he did gas his own people, millions during the Holocaust and also murdered thousands of Soviet POWs using gas.

For crying out loud… :dts:

Another shining example of what “pro-life” means to Trump and his alt-right buddies. :whacky:

If you support military action against Assad (and many in Israel do) why would you object to his further demonization. By saying he’s worse than Hitler, you make a stronger argument for more action against him.

Let’s be really clear here. This is Holocaust denial. The spokesperson for the executive branch of the American government denied the reality of the Holocaust.

Fire him. And fire him immediately.

Anne Frank Center calls for Spicer to be fired

I agree.

I was appalled by this statement, which does amount to a form of Holocaust denial coming from the lips of the man whose job it is to represent the U.S. government. :eek:

This is not Holocaust denial. Sean Spicer is a practicing Catholic.

This was him putting his foot in his mouth, by trying to equate Assad to Hitler and failing miserably at it. It was a major blunder, but not Holocaust denial.

I’m sure he’s kicking himself right now and I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump gave him an earful.

Republicans stand behind Israel no matter what, unlike the Democrats.

BTW - millions of Catholics were killed in the Holocaust too, but the article neglected to mention that.

I do admit it was quite a jarring statement. But I myself make a lot of jarring statements. He was trying to make Assad look worse than Hitler right? I am not defending Spicer but I see it as kind of a careless stupid moment rather than evidence that Spicer is a closet Nazi or whatever the left is after here.

You are unfamiliar with the definitions of Holocaust denial. I am not. Spicer’s comments are examples of Holocaust denial.

And I’ve no idea what his being Catholic has to do with anything?

Yes, it was.

Trump should have fired him by now and publicly repudiated Spicer’s comments.

Again, what does this have to do with the issue at hand?

Again, what does this have to do with the issue at hand?

I’m not suggesting that Spicer is a closet Nazi (I have no way of reading his mind) but taken at face value he just flat out denied during a press conference at the White House, in his capacity as the appointed spokesperson for the U.S. President, that Hitler used “chemical weapons” during World War II. He then refined his statement to mean that Hitler hadn’t used gas “on his own people”, before emphasizing the nature of how Assad dropped gas from a plane on “innocent people”. Umm…reality check, whether you gas people to death via a plane, van or chamber - you are still gassing people to death.

:shrug:

The fact is that Hitler did use chemical weapons in the form of zyklon b on millions of Jews, Gypsies and others; and Hitler did gas hundreds of thousands of Germans, his “own people”, to death in the T4 programme.

Spicer’s statement, taken at face value, denies that Hitler orchestrated either one of these. In doing so, he is essentially denying the Holocaust whether he intended to or not.

From a high-ranking U.S. official this is simply unacceptable!

I cannot understand why he made such a horribly misplaced analogy in the first place.

From the perspective of the “pro-life” agenda circa 2017, it is very acceptable for Spicer to make ignorant statements because he’s on the side of unborn babies and the SCOTUS justice(s) who will overturn Roe v. Wade and that therefore gives him a free pass to say whatever he wants. That’s the reality of it. So, no, Spicer won’t even get a slap on the wrist.

I’d agree with the above. Does anybody really believe he actually meant ill? It sounds to me like he didn’t make the gassing connection when he should have and shows more the need for prepared remarks to ward off brain lapses.

I’m off the Trump train, but obviously what Spicer was intending to say was that Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons on the field of battle. And while on this subject, where were all these outraged people, when thousands of leftist protesters frequently referred to Trump supporters as Nazis ? Why was that OK ?

I made a slight factual error in the above:

70, 273 Germans were victims of the centralized phase of the *Aktion T4 * program, which used poison gas in specially designed killing facilities to systematically eradicate individuals deemed “life unworthy of life,” while a further 200, 000 people within Germany were murdered in a decentralized manner by the regime in the years following the official termination of the program in 1941 - as a result of protests predominantly from the Catholic hierarchy - by means of starvation, medicine and purposeful neglect et al.

Oh for Pete’s sake. This is not Holocaust denial. If you were to ask Sean Spicer if the Holocaust really happened, do you really think he’d say “No?” Of course he wouldn’t. As others have observed, he just stuck his foot in his mouth. He misspoke. He’s under a ton of pressure. Spicer’s got one of the hardest jobs in the world - trying to make Trump look like a half-way intelligent human being. Give the guy a break.

But Spicer wasn’t talking about chemical weapons being used in combat against soldiers, as in the First World War and Iran-Iraq War.

He was talking about chemical weapons, or gas, being used on innocent civilians, which he claimed Hitler didn’t do during World War II and furthermore did not order to be used against his own people, whereas Assad has done this during the Syrian Civil War, which is an historically unjustifiable and reprehensible position on both accounts.

When there are still sick-minded individuals out there who continue to deny the Holocaust, do you honestly think it is acceptable for the official spokesperson of the U.S. President to “misspeak” in a public address at the White House in a manner which, ostensibly and at face value, denies Adolf Hitler used chemical weapons against innocents during World War II and also upon civilian elements of his own people?

Again, you don’t know what Holocaust denial is or the forms it takes if you don’t think this is denial. So with all due respect, for Pete’s sake, read more on the topic before making an ill-founded conclusion.

No one need believe Spicer spoke out of malice. But after he “misspoke” (:rolleyes:), he reaffirmed his statements not once, not twice, but three times. That’s not a brain lapse. It’s stupidity that’s dangerous. We have enough emboldened deniers. We don’t need them anywhere near the WH.

Well, I admit that I don’t know what kind of nutty definition of Holocaust denial you’re using, but I do know that Sean Spicer didn’t deny that the Nazis are responsible for the death of 6 million Jew during World War II.

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