North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer, who has aspirations to run for senator, said Wednesday that there is "some validity" to White House press secretary Sean Spicer's controversial comment comparing Syrian President Bashar Assad to Nazi Germany leader Adolf Hitler.
The remark that sparked the controversy happened during a press briefing on Tuesday. "You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons," Spicer told reporters. Controversy ensued and Spicer has apologized multiple times for the careless remark.
Spicer's comment was in reference an airstrike tied to the Assad regime last week. The U.S. says it believes sarin gas was used in the attack, which killed dozens of civilians, including children. Spicer has since said he meant to disrespect to the victims of the Holocaust, when more than 1 million Jews and other prisoners were killed in Nazi gas chambers.
On Wednesday, Cramer seemed to offer some cover for the embattled Trump spokesman.
"The media is so gullible, they fall for these things because they think it's really hot stuff and the public just can't wait to stick it to Sean Spicer — who 99 percent of the people wouldn't have the foggiest idea who he is and it distracts them from other things," Cramer said on KFYR-FM, according to CNN. "I can't even believe that anybody in the media, much less all of the major networks, led with this story. A spokesperson, who by the way made a poor illustration, but it's not completely, it's not without some validity."
Cramer is running to unseat Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp.
His apparent defense of Spicer contrasts with the near-universal backlash, from both sides of the aisle, to Spicer's gaffe. Some, like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, have called on Trump to fire Spicer.