A Republican lawmaker on Wednesday became the first member of his party to call for the resignation of Sean Spicer after the White House press secretary compared the military actions of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Adolf Hitler.
“Spicer made a terrible mistake yesterday. He admitted it,” Coffman said, before clarifying: “I mean, he needs to go.”
Spicer made the comparison on Tuesday as he tried to condemn Russia’s alliance with the Syrian leader in the wake of a chemical attack in the country last week. The spokesperson suggested that even Adolf Hitler had not used the kind of chemical weapons that Assad had.
“We didn’t even use chemical weapons in World War II,” Spicer Tuesday during a briefing with reporters.
“You had a — you know, someone as despicable as Hitler, who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” Spicer said.
Asked to clarify his comments, he gave a further muddled response, saying of Hitler, “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,” he added, alluding to concentration camps.
“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,” he said, concluding, “That was not the intent.”
Coffman called Spicer’s remarks and delivery “incompetent.”
“He didn’t mention that 6 million Jews were killed by chemicals,” Coffman said. “[H]e was incompetent in his delivery and I think he’s obviously serving the president poorly and oughta go.”
Coffman isn’t the only lawmaker calling for Spicer’s resignation. On Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the comments “shameful” and said he should be fired.
ABC News’ MaryAlice Parks and Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.