WASHINGTON — Two House Republicans over the last two days have invoked Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in partisan Hill debate, using the reference to attack Democrats and the media and to criticize the recent investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russia.
Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., on Monday — the day after attorney general Bob Barr submitted his summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation report — drew from the German leader's writings to attack congressional Democrats and the "fake news media" as having lied throughout special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe.
"A 'big lie' is a political propaganda technique made famous by Germany's national socialist German Workers Party," Brooks said on the House floor. "For more than two years, socialist Democrats and their fake news media allies, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, Washington Post and countless others have perpetrated the biggest political lie, con, scam and fraud in American history."
Brooks continued by reading a passage from Hitler's book 'Mein Kampf' about the utility of "colossal untruths" on the House floor, saying that he was going to quote "from another socialist who mastered 'big lie' propaganda to a maximum and deadly effect."
Though Brooks's intent was to paint President Donald Trump's opponents as socialists like Hitler, the paragraph he read from Hitler's writings accused Jews of accepting falsehoods about Germany's loss in World War I and peddling them widely.
The Anti-Defamation League quickly criticized the remarks. "It's unconscionable for a member of Congress to demonize an opposing party by claiming it's comparable to Nazism," the organization tweeted. "The vicious Nazi regime was responsible for the murder of 6 million Jews and millions more. This is dangerous and @RepMoBrooks must apologize."
Eva Braun and Hitler
Eva Braun and Hitler
(GERMANY OUT) *20.04.1889-30.04.1945+Politiker, NSDAP, Daus einem Fotoalbum aus dem Nachlass vonEva Braun:auf dem Obersalzberg bei Berchtesgadenauf der Terrasse des Berghof: AdolfHitler mit Schï¿½erhï¿½ndin Blondi, E. B.mit Scotchterrierohne Jahr (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) Eva Braun,Eva Braun,Adolf Hitler, Theo Morell (*20.04.1889-30.04.1945+) , Politiker, NSDAP, D, - als Gastgeber einer Gesellschaft fï¿½r, Marion Schï¿½nmann, geb. Theissen (eine, Freundin Eva Brauns) anlï¿½slich ihrer, Hochzeit; in der Mitte das Ehepaar, ihm, rechts zu Fï¿½ssen Evas Schwester Gretl;, von links: Heinrich Hoffmann, Frau, Morell, Erna Hoffmann, zweite Ehefrau des, Fotografen, Eva Braun, ganz hi Leibarzt, Dr Theo Morell (Photo by ullstein bild via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1900: Eva Braun, Adolf Hitler Wife (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Adolf Hitler with Eva Braun. Undated Photo.
circa 1942: Eva Braun, the German mistress of chancellor Adolf Hitler poses on a terrace with an infant, in a still from a home movie taken by her sister Grete Fegelein. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Adolf Hitler with his mistress Eva Braun, 1940. (Photo by Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945) and Uschi (Ursula) Schneider, the daughter of Herta Schneider, a close childhood friend of Eva Braun, at the Berghof, Berchtesgaden, Germany, 1942. Herta Schneider and her children spent a great deal of time at Hitler's residence. (Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)
Eva Braun (1912 - 1945) sitting on a terrace in a Bavarian dress, at the Berghof, Hitler's residence, near Berchtesgaden, Germany, 1942. A box camera is next to her. She took many photos and also 16mm color film of life at the Berghof and elsewhere. (Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) Eva Braun,Eva Braun,,Gretl Fegelein (*06.02.1912-30.04.1945+) , Lebensgefï¿½rtin Adolf Hitlers, E.B. mit ihrer Schwester Gretl Fegelein, 1944 (Photo by ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945) with guests at his birthday party at Hitler's residence, the Berghof near Berchtesgaden, Germany, 20th April 1943. On the far left is Eva Braun (1912 - 1945). Behind her is her close friend Herta Schneider. (Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)
1945: Private First Class Richard Blust of Michigan surveys the bunker at the German Reichschancellery in Berlin where Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun are thought to have committed suicide. A fire has destroyed much of the room's contents. (Photo by Haacker/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
6th July 1945: A Russian soldier using Eva Braun's phone in her bedroom in Hitler's shelter, at the Chancellery building, Berlin. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun, Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, Germany, c1936-1945. Eva Braun came to live with Hitler at the Berghof, his residence in the Bavarian Alps in 1936. They were married in his bunker in Berlin on 29 April 1945 in the closing days of World War II before committing suicide the following day. (Photo by Art Media/Print Collector/Getty Images)
German dictator Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945) and his mistress Eva Braun (1912 -1945) dine in a still from a private home movie made by Braun's sister Gretl Fegelein, early to mid 1940s. Hitler and Braun married on April 29, 1945, the day before they committed suicide. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
Hitler s'amuse avec une toute petite fille, 'Uschi', qui serait la niï¿½e d'Eva Braun, circa 1940. (Photo by Keystone-France\Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) Braun, Eva - Partner of Adolf Hitler, Germany*06.02.1912-30.04.1945+- (3.f.r.) with friends in a bar - undated- Photographer: AP- Published by: 'Sie' 31/1947Vintage property of ullstein bild (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Hitler et Eva Braun sont assis avec deux jeunes enfants, circa 1930. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Eva Braun (1910 - 1945), mistress to Adolf Hitler. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
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NBC News did not immediately receive a response to a request for comment from Brooks's office.
During a House Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, defended Brooks, arguing that the fascism of the Nazi Party was actually socialism and if Democrats were offended by that comparison, some who have branded themselves as socialists should stop.
The panel, he said, should "rein in the power that is being so badly abused now in the [Department of Justice.]"
"I think the potential abuses and past abuses of the FISA courts and these warrants are an area where the country's at risk..." he said. "The potential is out there for another Hitler, socialist like Hitler to come along, and like I said, it won't be Trump."
Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., pushed back, saying that what the Gohmert had said "offends me as a Jewish person."
"They were Nazis who killed Jews, and I would get offended when you compare socialists to Nazis and then put it out here," Cohen said.
Gohmert said the term was justified: "Well, it's what they were, and I'm sorry that we need to do everything we can to avoid another Holocaust, and I'm sorry the man was offended by the term. Quit using it," he said.