MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The White House Press secretary serves as a messenger between the president and the American people. Part of the job is to clean up after any missteps his boss makes, but Sean Spicer is scrambling to clean up a mess of his own after making shocking comments about the Holocaust.
Less than 24 hours later, the fumble came up during a media forum where Spicer was on center stage.
Spicer was in the hot seat Wednesday at a media forum in Washington where he was invited to talk about the Trump administration’s relationship with the press but Spicer himself quickly became the focus.
“I made a mistake. There’s no other way to say it. I got into a topic I shouldn’t have,” said Spicer.
Less than 24 hours earlier, Spicer compared Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad’s chemical weapons attack on his own citizens to Adolf Hitler’s actions.
“You had a, someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to the – to using chemical weapons,” said Hitler.
Spicer stumbled when trying to clarify apparently forgetting the millions of Jewish people who died in gas chambers during the Holocaust.
“There is not in the — he brought them into the holocaust centers, I understand that,” said Spicer.
Spicer’s comments came on the first day of Passover, drawing swift and stinging reaction from members of the Jewish community, many of whom called on the president to fire him.
“It really is painful to myself to know I did something like that cause that obviously was not my intention, and to know when you screw up that you possibly offended a lot of people. I would ask for folks forgiveness,” said Spicer.
Spicer also said it is disappointing because he thinks he let the president down.
President Trump has yet to comment.
Outrage over Spicer’s gaffe was widespread including from lawmakers but the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition says he believed Spicer had “genuinely and sincerely apologized”and said his organization accepts that, and is ready to move on.