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The question Spicer was asked: "What makes you think that, at this point, [Putin] is going to pull back his support for President Assad and the Syrian government" after years of remaining allies?

His response: "We didn't use chemical weapons in World War II... Hitler didn't even sink to using chemical weapons."

  • Clarification 1 (live): "I think when you come to sarin gas... he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing... He brought them into the Holocaust centers, I understand that. What I was saying was in the way that Assad used them, where he went into towns, dropped them down... the use of it."
  • Clarification 2 (statement): "In no way was I trying to lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust; however, I was trying to draw a contrast of the tactic of using airplane to drop chemical weapons on innocent people."
  • Clarification 3 (statement): "In no way was I trying to lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust; however, I was trying to draw a contrast of the tactic of using airplane to drop chemical weapons on population centers."
  • Clarification 4 (statement): "In no way was I trying to lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust; however, I was trying to draw a contrast of the tactic of using airplane to drop chemical weapons on population centers. Any attack on innocent people is reprehensible and inexcusable."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

Swastikas found outside Union Station in Washington, D.C.

People walk through Union Station on Jan. 16 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Drawings of swastikas appeared etched around the entrance to Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning.

Driving the news: "An investigation is underway with Amtrak Police and the Metropolitan Police Department after swastikas were reported on the exterior of Washington Union Station on Friday," Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in a statement to Axios.

Updated 52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

Scoop: Ukraine gives U.S. senators 4 specific asks

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

The chairman of Ukraine's parliament has sent a letter to eight U.S. senators outlining four specific requests for security assistance and sanctions that Kyiv believes will help deter a Russian invasion, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The Ukrainian government is leaning on Congress — and a bipartisan group of senators negotiating compromise language on sanctions that could pass the Senate — in an effort to push the U.S. posture beyond the Biden administration's approach.