Spicer: Even Hitler didn't use chemical weapons
White House press secretary Sean Spicer has said Adolf Hitler "didn't even sink to using chemical weapons" - a comment at odds with Hitler's extermination of Jews during the Holocaust using gas chambers.
Mr Spicer was attempting to discuss the horror of the chemical weapons attack last week in Syria, which the US administration is blaming on President Bashar Assad.
"We didn't use chemical weapons in World War II," said Mr Spicer, adding that "someone as despicable as Hitler... didn't even sink to using chemical weapons".
Minutes later, Mr Spicer delivered a garbled defence of his remarks in which he tried to differentiate between Hitler's actions and the gas attack on Syrian civilians last week.
Mr Spicer said: "I think when you come to sarin gas, he (Hitler) was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing.
"He brought them into the Holocaust centre (sic)."
After the briefing, Mr Spicer emailed a statement to reporters which read: "In no way was I trying to lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust.
"I was trying to draw a distinction of the tactic of using airplanes to drop chemical weapons on population centres. Any attack on innocent people is reprehensible and inexcusable."