Republican Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado told constituents at a town hall meeting on April 12 that White House press secretary Sean Spicer "needs to go" (video below).
Coffman was asked by a female voter about Spicer's false claim on April 11 that Hitler did not "sink to using chemical weapons," notes CNN. Spicer made the remarks while talking about Syrian President Bashar Assad and a chemical weapons attack on civilians in northern Syria on April 4.
"What is your thoughts at this time of a president who has anti-Semitic people in his Cabinet?" the voter asked Coffman. "Who cannot even acknowledge what happened in the Holocaust by calling them 'Holocaust centers.' Who say that Hitler didn't use gas on his people ... I need to hear from my congressman that these things are unacceptable."
"Spicer made a terrible mistake yesterday, and he admitted it. If you're not familiar with what he did is that he--" Coffman said as the audience murmured.
Coffman added: "He needs to go. Because I just don't think he's serving the president well."
The audience cheered, but then Coffman offered a defense of Spicer, notes ABC News:
So what he tried to do was this, he said -- and it’s true: the German army in World War II had chemical weapons and chose not to use them. Because they felt that the retaliation would, you know, the math didn’t work for them. But at the same time -- so, he was trying to make that point about Russians.
The audience began grumbling, and one voter screamed at Coffman: "Stop apologizing!"
"But then what he did is, he didn’t mention the fact that 6 million Jews were killed," Coffman added. "By chemicals. Yeah, I don’t want to apologize for him."
Spicer told reporters that Hitler did not use chemical weapons, reported ABC News.
"We didn't even use chemical weapons in World War II," Spicer said on April 11. "You had a -- you know, someone as despicable as Hitler, who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons."
When Spicer was asked to clarify his statement, he brought up "Holocaust centers":
I think when you come to sarin gas, there was no -- he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing. He brought them into the Holocaust centers. But I'm saying that in the way that Assad used them, where he went in towns, dropped them down to innocent -- into the middle of towns -- it was brought, so the use of it -- I appreciate the clarification. That was not the intent.