White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has been stirring controversy ever since his first White House press briefing, when he lied about the size of President Trump's Inauguration Day crowd. But on Tuesday, he might have gone too far. After making an insensitive comment about the Holocaust, many are calling for Spicer to be fired.
While talking about Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians last week, Spicer incorrectly stated that Hitler "didn't even sink to using chemical weapons," overlooking the fact that millions of Jews were killed in gas chambers in Nazi concentration camps.
Spicer has since apologized for his comments, acknowledging that they were "insensitive. But for many, this apology doesn't go far enough. In a statement earlier this afternoon, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi urged the president to fire Spicer for his remarks:
While Jewish families across America celebrate Passover, the chief spokesman of this White House is downplaying the horror of the Holocaust. Sean Spicer must be fired, and the President must immediately disavow his spokesman's statements. Either he is speaking for the President, or the President should have known better than to hire him.
The Ann Frank Center for Mutual Respect, a nonprofit organization that provides educational resources and opportunities to combat discrimination, also stated that Spicer's "Holocaust denial" cannot be forgiven, and that he should be removed from his post immediately.
"Spicer's statement is the most evil slur upon a group of people we have ever heard from a White House press secretary," the center's executive director Steven Goldstein said in statement on Facebook. "Sean Spicer now lacks the integrity to serve as Press Secretary, and President Trump must fire him at once."
Spicer has been in hot water with the Trump Administration before. While he was initially serving as both press secretary and communications director for the White House, Spicer was relieved of the second role following reports that Trump was unhappy with his messaging in the first month of the administration. Trump was also reportedly furious that Spicer was mocked by Melissa McCarthy on Saturday Night Live in February, embarrassed that he may be making his Administration look "weak," according to a Trump aide.
Spicer's insensitive comments about the Holocaust were a step too far for many politicians. But it remains to be seen if they were enough to cause yet another shakeup within the Trump Administration. The White House has yet to issue a statement about the incident.