During Tuesday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer tried to make a point about how dangerous Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is. Unfortunately, he made this point in the most inaccurate and offensive way possible.
Speaking about Assad and the recent chemical attack that took place in Syria last week on his orders, Spicer said:
‘We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II. You know, you had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.’
Spicer tried to walk back his point later during the briefing, saying there was a difference between the way Hitler used gas chambers to kill millions of people and the way Assad has used chemical weapons. Unfortunately for him, the damage was already done, and he has received a significant amount of completely justified backlash for his remarks.
The Anne Frank Center released a statement shortly after Tuesday’s briefing calling for Spicer to be fired. Renowned journalist and outspoken critic of the Trump administration Dan Rather also jumped into the ring on Tuesday afternoon, when he published a Facebook post criticizing Spicer’s “unhinged” and “amateurish” statement.
Rather began his post by commenting on just how offensive Spicer’s remarks were:
‘It is with sadness that I do not know where to begin. Today in a briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer issued a statement that is so far beyond the pale, so tone deaf and blind to history and our precarious moment in world affairs, that it is with only a heavy heart that I even bring attention to it. There can be no joy in such incompetence.’
After providing an explanation of what happened during today’s briefing for anyone who may have missed it, Rather went on to say that Spicer should step down from his job as press secretary after this incident.
‘This line of rhetoric is so unhinged, so amateurish, so lacking in the context and perspective necessary for statesmanship and diplomacy that I do not see how Mr. Spicer can be allowed to continue in his current position.’
Rather also said that Spicer is not the only member of President Trump’s administration who is incompetent.
‘But in the end, this is less about him and more about an Administration that is inserting itself in a civil war and now is plunging into a drastic reformulation of American foreign policy without any clear sense that they have a plan. When you try to explain such a situation, it is understandable that your words don’t make sense.
‘A bar, already set low, continues to drop.’
Read Rather’s full Facebook post below.
Featured image via Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images.