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WASHINGTON (AP) – White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has apologized for making an “inappropriate and insensitive” comparison to the Holocaust in earlier comments about Syrian President Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons — remarks that drew instant rebuke from Jewish groups and critics.

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Spicer said in an interview with CNN Tuesday that he was trying to make a point about Assad’s use of chemical weapons and gas against his people but “mistakenly made an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust, for which there is no comparison. And for that I apologize.”

During the daily White House briefing, Spicer told reporters that Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” Critics noted the remark ignored Hitler’s use of gas chambers to exterminate Jews during the Holocaust.

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