You know when you’re watching a bad horror movie there’s always this one idiot character who’s walking along some dark hallway toward a room with a banner that says “you will die here,” and you’re screaming at the TV like, “DON’T GO IN THERE DON’T DO IT AH GOD WHY OH GOD STOP IT OH YOU’RE SO DUMB WHY?”
That’s what it was like watching White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s entire Tuesday. He seems to agree, and now says he let the president down.
Spicer started his afternoon by comparing Adolf Hitler with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying even Hitler hadn’t used chemical weapons. This is not at all true. Hitler used gas chambers at concentration camps to murder people in droves.
Given a chance to clarify, Spicer said he meant Hitler “was not using the gas on his own people” the way Assad did, which of course implies one use of chemical weapons is better than the other. And, of course, some of those killed during the Holocaust were in fact Germans who’d had their citizenship taken away.
Spicer then went on an apology tour, calling his Hitler reference “inappropriate and offensive.” On Wednesday, he said he’d distracted from things he believes Trump has done well.
“On a professional level it’s disappointing because I think I’ve let the president down,” Spicer said in a conversation at the Newseum. Earlier, he’d talked about the mistake on a personal level. “It’s a holy week for both the Jewish people and the Christian people and this is not—to make a gaffe and a mistake like this is inexcusable and reprehensible. And so of all weeks, this compounds that kind of mistake.”
Spicer learned, he said, that there’s no comparing atrocities.