A Republican lawmaker has joined in on calls from Democratic lawmakers urging White House press secretary Sean Spicer to resign.
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) explained his stance Wednesday during a town hall event with constituents. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) previously called for Spicer to step down after he mistakenly claimed from the White House briefing room podium that Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” Spicer later apologized for the comment, calling it a “mistake.”
“There’s no other way to say it. I got into a topic that I shouldn’t have, and I screwed up. On a professional level it’s disappointing because I think I’ve let the president down, and so on both a personal level and professional level that would definitely go down as not a very good day in my history,” Spicer said, pleading for “forgiveness” for the gaffe.
— CNN (@CNN) April 12, 2017
But Spicer’s apology wasn’t enough for Pelosi, who called for Spicer to be “fired” and for President Donald Trump to “disavow” the statement.
“While Jewish families across America celebrate Passover, the chief spokesman of this White House is downplaying the horror of the Holocaust… Either he [Spicer] is speaking for the President, or the President should have known better than to hire him,” Pelosi said in a statement.
Cicilline, who is Jewish, echoed Pelosi’s call, labeling Spicer’s comments both “ignorant” and “despicable.”
“Donald Trump’s White House does not get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to anti-Semitism,” Cicilline said, according to WPRO-AM. “Enough is enough. After today’s comments, Sean Spicer should not work in the White House. It’s time for some real accountability in this White House. And it should start with Sean Spicer’s resignation.”
Rep. Coffman of Colorado became the first Republican on Capitol Hill to join these calls.
“Spicer made a terrible mistake yesterday. He admitted it. If you’re not familiar with what he did, is that he – I mean, he needs to go. Because I just don’t think he’s serving the president well,” Coffman said during a town hall event with constituents Wednesday.
While the town hall audience applauded that line from Coffman, attendees weren’t so pleased by something else the congressman said.
“So what he [Spicer] tried to do is this, is he said that — 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 — the map didn’t work for them,” Coffman said, according to the Hill.
“But at the same time, so, he was trying to make that point about Russians,” the Colorado congressman added.
Members of the audience booed Coffman for that comment, yelling at him to “stop apologizing” for the president’s spokesman.