Blasting Syrian President Bashar Assad for allegedly using chemical weapons against a rebel-controlled region of his own country, the White House on Tuesday said that Assad's behaviour was worse than that of Adolf Hitler , "who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons."
Slamming Russia for supporting Assad, White House press secretary Sean Spicer pointed out that the US didn't use chemical weapons in World War II.
"Someone who is despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons. You have to, if you're Russia, ask yourself, is this a country that you, and a regime that you want to align yourself with?" he said.
Hitler's name is linked to the use of chemical weapons, most notably through the Holocaust, Nazi Germany's genocidal programme intended to murder Europe's entire Jewish population.
Many of the Jews were killed in gas chambers with Zyklon B and other poisons.
Sarin gas, the weapon believed to have been used by Assad's regime, was first created and weaponized by Nazi scientists in 1938.
"I think when you come to sarin gas, there was no -- he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing," Spicer noted.
"He brought them into the Holocaust centre. I understand that. But I'm saying in the way that Assad used them where he went into towns, dropped them down into innocent, into the middle of towns. So the use of it, I appreciate the clarification there. That was not the intent," he added.
Sean Spicer, however, apologised later for comparing Adolf Hitler’s actions during the Holocaust to atrocities carried out now by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“Frankly, I mistakenly used an inappropriate and insensitive comment about the Holocaust and there is no comparison,” Spicer told CNN.
“For that I apologise. It was a mistake to do that,” he added.
(With agency inputs)