White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday 12 April 2017, attempted to justify President Donald Trump's order of air strikes on an Assad controlled air base by saying:
We didn't use chemical weapons in World War Two, you know, you had a, someone as despicable as Hitler, who didn't even sink to the, to using chemical weapons.
So you have to, if you're Russia, ask yourself is this a country that, and a regime, that you want to align yourself with.
He was then asked what he meant by these remarks. He clarified:
I think when you come to sarin gas, there was no, he [Hitler] was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing.
There was not, in the, he brought them in to the Holocaust centres, I understand that, what I'm saying, in the way that Assad used them, where he went into towns dropped them down to innocent, into the middle of towns, it was brought to, so the use of it, and I appreciate the clarification, that was not the intent.
Later in the day, the executive director for the Anne Frank Centre for Mutual Respect said:
On Passover no less, Sean Spicer has engaged in Holocaust denial, the most offensive form of fake news imaginable, by denying Hitler gassed millions of Jews to death.
Spicer's statement is the most evil slur upon a group of people we have ever heard from a White House press secretary.
Sean Spicer now lacks the integrity to serve as White House press secretary and President Trump must fire him at once.
Spicer later issued a public apology and attempted to clarify his remarks.
Now, to journalists in the White House Press corps, it was instantly obvious Sean Spicer was digging himself a mighty big hole.
It's widely acknowledged that you should, when talking politics, avoid flippant comparisons to Hitler. In fact, any comparisons to Hitler. It never ends well.
You're probably about to say something stupid and offensive if you start to compare anything to the Holocaust.
If you get close to denying the Holocaust happened, you really need to wind your neck in and think about how you got to that point.
Spicer's derailment was evident to the room, and the journalists' reactions have become a bit of a meme.
Don't. Mention. Hitler.