White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has claimed that the President of Syria–Bashar al-Assad– has done actions that are worse when compared to the atrocities that Hitler did during World War II. His reasoning was that Hitler had never used chemical weapons. This isn’t accurate; Hitler gassed millions in gas chambers at concentration camps. While comparing Assad to Hitler, Spicer’s statements were clearly historically inaccurate, and he has now found himself in “hot water.”
Spicer obviously misspoke, and has since apologized–but not before a firestorm of criticism. Now, because of the comments, many are pushing the narrative that the Trump White House is insensitive and doesn’t have a good grip of “history.”
As recently reported, “We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II,” Mr. Spicer said. “You know, you had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”
He continued, “So you have to, if you are Russia, ask yourself: Is this a country and a regime that you want to align yourself with?”
When Spicer was asked to clarify his statements, he said that Hitler didn’t use gas on his own people in the same way that Assad is currently doing. This is not true, as according to the United States Holocaust Museum between “160,000 and 180,000” Jews killed by Hitler were Germans.
It’s hard to compare anyone to Hitler without getting attacked, but Spicer was without a doubt wrong in his assessment–according to historians. Assad is a bad guy, and so was Hitler–these facts are not up for debate. It’s important for the White House Press Secretary to be the voice of the current administration, and it’s painfully clear that Spicer needs to make less controversial statements–if Trump is to be represented properly.