White House press secretary Sean Spicer's "Holocaust centers" gaffe Tuesday was simply unfathomable, even by Spicerian standards. But as Spicer spent the remainder of his day trying to explain the inexplicable, he stumbled into another concerning remark.
Specifically, Spicer told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he needed to clarify his offensive Holocaust comments so they wouldn’t distract from “the president’s decisive action in Syria and the attempts that he's making to destabilize the region" (emphasis added). At first blush, it sounds like just another cryptic Spicerism—do we ever really know what he means?
But Spicer used the exact same phrase in Monday's press briefing while trying to explain the gulf between Ambassador Nikki Haley's tough talk on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's less aggressive posture toward Assad.
The goal for both of them -- the goal for the United States is twofold, as I’ve stated. It’s, one, to make sure that we destabilize Syria -- destabilize the conflict there, reduce the threat of ISIS.
Using "destabilize" once is perhaps a run-of-the-mill slip for Spicer, even if it would be considered a blunder by any other press secretary. But three times in the course of two days is worrisome from the likes of Spicer. One has to wonder if he's picked up a word he's heard bandied about by other aides in relation to the region. Unfortunately, it’s not inconceivable that someone like Steve Bannon might think destabilizing a region already riven with instability would be a good idea.
If that's a policy goal, we're in real trouble. And if it's not, Spicer needs to quit saying it. Eventually, the world's going to notice.
Watch Spicer below.