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Congressman: Spicer comments 'not without some validity'
21 April 2017, 03:02 | Erica Roy
Heidi Hietkamp, said Wednesday that White House press secretary Sean Spicer's analogy between Adolf Hitler and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is "not without some validity".
Spicer made the comments at a daily news briefing, during a discussion about the April 4 chemical weapons attack in Syria that killed 87 people.
Needless to say, Spicer is on a mea culpa tour as we speak. "But I'm saying that in the way that Assad used them, where he went in towns, dropped them down to innocent - into the middle of towns - it was brought, so the use of it - I appreciate the clarification".
Mr Spicer apologised for making an "inappropriate and insensitive" comparison to the Holocaust in comments about the Syrian president's alleged chemical weapon use.
Reaction from around the world continued Wednesday.
A few hours later, a contrite Mr Spicer appeared on United States television expressing regret for the comments.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said contemporary comparisons with Nazi atrocities were ill-advised.
When asked whom he was directing his apology to, Spicer said, "anyone offended by the comments".
"Your job as the spokesperson is to help amplify the president's actions and accomplishments", Spicer said. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said on Twitter, "Someone get @PressSec a refresher history course on Hitler stat (hashtag)#Icantbelievehereallysaidthat".
Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Jewish Republican from NY, said in a statement that the comparison could be made "a little differently and it would be accurate, but it's important to clear up that Hitler did in fact use chemical warfare to murder innocent people".
It was not the first time the White House has had to answer questions about the Holocaust.
He noted that Trump had bombed a Syrian air base in a forceful response to chemical weapons use by Assad's government and said Trump's hosting of Chinese President Xi Jinping last week had produced "tremendous progress".
A White House spokesman said later that "nothing has changed in our posture" and the president retains the option to act if it's in the national interest.
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