Sean Spicer must have sparked relief for SNL writers and the United Airlines’ PR department with his Passover screwup today. However, the rest of the world — including CNN’s Jake Tapper — is still figuratively sitting with mouths agape after the White House press secretary argued that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is somehow more evil than Adolf Hitler because he “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” Spicer’s initial clarification to reporters made things worse by labeling concentration camps as a “Holocaust Center.”
Spicer issued a groveling apology on CNN, which you can see below, but in the above clip, Tapper was ready and willing to not only label Spicer’s words as “false” but “frankly, kind of ignorant.” Today’s horrendous mess led the Anne Frank Center to called for Spicer’s firing, and here, Tapper suggested that Spicer take a jaunt down to the Holocaust Museum that sits blocks away from the White House. This trip would reinforce what else Tapper had to say:
“It is true that the Nazis did not use chemical weapons in combat, but the comparison Spicer was attempting was not about combat weapons against troops, it was about Hitler not, quote, ‘sinking to use chemical weapons on innocent civilians,’ and to state the obvious, Hitler obviously did sink to using chemical weapons against innocent civilians.”
Following Spicer’s worst press conference ever (and that’s saying a lot), he made a number of clarifications and eventually settled on a fourth version, which stated that he was “draw[ing] a distinction of the tactic of using airplanes to drop chemical weapons on population centers.” That didn’t help matters, so he also spoke with Wolf Blitzer to provide another clarification:
“I mistakenly used an inappropriate and insensitive reference to which, frankly, there is no comparison. For that I apologize. It was a mistake to do that.”
Well, someone must have issued a quick primer, which contains one simple lesson …. never compare anything to Hitler or the Holocaust. Here’s the video clip of a groveling Spicey. Rest assured, he’ll be angry again tomorrow!