Opinion

Sean Spicer saves face: Robyn Urback

"My point was simply that Bashar-Ashad ... um ... Assar? Assad is a particular brand of evil — a dictator unlike this world has ever seen. I mean, even Hitler didn't indiscriminately bomb cities filled with innocent civilians."

'My intention was to emphasize just how evil the administration of Bashar-Ashad ... um ... Assar? Assad is'

White House press secretary Sean Spicer apologized for his inappropriate comments this week. (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)

Thank you for attending this afternoon's press briefing.

First of all, I want to apologize for my comments yesterday. I in no way intended to imply that Hitler didn't use chemical weapons during the Second World War. Indeed, Hitler absolutely used chemical weapons, and it was my mistake for implying otherwise.

I spent all night reading literature kindly provided to me by the president's chief of staff, which confirmed that Zyklon B killed as many as five or six hundred thousand Jews at Holocaust centres. Millions of normal people were killed, too. That's why we deliberately omitted references to Jews in our Holocaust Remembrance Day statement back in January. Because we are inclusive of everyone. But I'm getting off topic.  

My intention was to emphasize just how evil the administration of Bashar-Ashad ... um ... Assar? Assad is, which is why President Trump's decisive action to order missile strikes on a Syrian airbase was celebrated across the world. The celebration, in fact, was way bigger than anything Barack Obama ever experienced during his presidency, and our friends at InfoWars — who are joining us via Skype, and will have the first seven questions this afternoon — will soon provide data confirming that fact.

My point was simply that Ashar is a particular brand of evil — a dictator unlike this world has ever seen. I mean, even Hitler didn't indiscriminately bomb cities filled with innocent civilians. Syria is — yes, I see your hands going up but just let me finish — Syria is in the thrust of a brutal civil war, and though the president campaigned on a platform of steadfast non-intervention, the pictures his daughter secretly slipped onto his table while he was eating chocolate cake with Chinese President Xi changed his mind.

President Trump has now made it clear that these sorts of atrocities will not occur on his watch. Based on intel the White House staff received last night through a microwave in the West Wing, we have confirmed that Ashad's stockpile of weapons is being replenished by a certain veto-holding UN Security Council member. This is not ideal.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will therefore be discussing that issue on his trip to that country — the first meeting between a member of the Trump team and a Russian official. And we will mak— damn it: April, Jim, put your hands down. I'm almost done.

OK. What was I saying? Yes: as President Trump has said, Basad-Ashar cannot continue to kill innocent babies with sarin gas. Yes, he is killing innocent babies with barrel bombs, too, but sarin gas makes for clearer pictures, and those pictures are what will prompt further military action. And if — what? Speak louder, John, I can't hear you. No, no it's not a red line. Nothing has changed in our posture. What do you mean, "Can I clarify?" Can you just wait until I'm done? Stop shaking your head. Oh my God, you guys …

President Trump's position — the new one, the one he's had for the last week or so — has been clear: government persecution of the Alawite minority must end. The United States will make sure of that. And you can write that down.

Alright, last thing. If you'll direct your eyes to the screen, I'd like to go over President Trump's itinerary for the next few days:

CRAP. Don't look at that

Bah. I give up. Any questions?

This column is part of CBC's Opinion section. For more information about this section, please read this editor's blog and our FAQ.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robyn Urback

Columnist

Robyn Urback was an opinion columnist with CBC News and a producer with the CBC's Opinion section. She previously worked as a columnist and editorial board member at the National Post. Follow her on Twitter at:

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