Sean Spicer, the Press Secretary for Donald Trump’s White House, created a heck of a headline this afternoon at today’s press briefing, when he compared Trump’s latest enemy to a certain Nazi dictator that Trump himself has often been compared to. He spoke ill of Russia for standing by Bashar al-Assad, the President of Syria, following his chemical weapons attack on his own citizens. Spicer said that even somebody “as despicable as Adolf Hitler” did not go as far as to “sink” to the use of chemical weapons.

One reporter asked Spicer to clarify, because Hitler did ‘sink’ to that

One of the journalists in the room finally asked Spicer to clarify what he was on about, because Hitler and his Nazi cronies sunk to using gas chambers to wipe out millions of Jews and other non-Aryan minority groups they wanted rid of. Spicer then dug himself into a deeper hole by saying that while Hitler did use gas, he did not use it against “his own people the same way that Assad is doing.” But yes, he did. German Jews and gypsies were Hitler’s “own people,” right?

The reporters in the room were very quick to remind Spicer that there was that thing called the Holocaust that Hitler did in which a few chemical weapons were thrown around, because when someone in the White House makes a glaring mistake in their (alternative) facts, journalists go nuts.

Spicer does remember the Holocaust, it turns out. He was listening in history class when his teacher told him Hitler used deadly gases in “the Holocaust centres...I understand that.”

Spicer was misunderstood by spectators

Spicer cleared up his comments later, saying that he was “in no way” attempting “to lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust.” See, journalists have seen his comments as making light of the Holocaust.

Instead, he means to emphasise how terrible and devastating the Syrian chemical weapons attack was by “draw(ing) a contrast” between it and the Holocaust.

He then refocused on Assad, saying that Hitler didn’t gas “innocent people.” Of course he did, unless being Jewish or being black or being disabled is a crime. Spicer said that “the way that Assad used (chemical weapons),” going “into towns” and dropping them on innocent people, before just ending the statement there and kind of trailing off.

He could clearly see how much he’d f*cked up by even mentioning Hitler when he said that being taken to task on his lack of knowledge about World War II was “not the intent” of his comments.

News outlets are trying to make sense of Spicer’s remarks

Spicer, tugging at his sweaty collar and taking a big gulp, cleared the air a little bit by finally saying that both the Syrian attack and the Holocaust are “reprehensible and inexcusable.” News outlets, confused by the shocking and probably historical moment, went to historians. Apparently most historians actually agree with Spicer that the Nazis did not use chemical weapons during the Second World War. CNN said that while Hitler was faced with a mustard gas attack whilst serving in World War I, he “did not sign off” on the Nazis using chemical weapons “against Allied forces,” even when Allied forces were showing signs of winning. So who knows? It’s the era of alternative facts.