White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has said that he thinks he "let the president down" when he made comparisons between Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. On 11 April, Spicer caused a storm during his press briefing when he said that Hitler did not use chemical weapons.
The Nazis murdered millions in gas chambers using chemical agent Zyklon B.
Spicer then compounded his mistake when he said that Hitler "was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing" when given the chance to clarify what he had said, before issuing a number of muddled statements.
"There's no other way to say it, I got into a topic I shouldn't have and I screwed up," Spicer said during an interview at Washington DC's Newseum on 12 April morning, "I hope people understand that we all make mistakes."
Spicer said "I should not have tried to make an comparison, there's no comparing atrocities" and added that the incident was "a very difficult thing personally to deal with becase you know that a lot of people who don't know you wonder why you would do that."
The White House Press Secretary added that it was a "disappointing" moment for him professionally: "Your job as the spokesperson is to help amplify the president's actions and accomplishments and I think he's had an unbelievable, successful couple weeks and when you're distracting from that message of accomplishment and your job is to be the exact opposite, on a professional level it's dissapointing".
"I think I've let the president down," Spicer told the audience, "so on both a personal level and professional level that will go down as not a very good day in my history."