U.S. Slams German Minister For Bush-Hitler Comment

September 19, 2002

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush's spokesman on Thursday expressed outrage that Germany's justice minister drew a link between Bush's saber-rattling on Iraq to the tactics used by Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

Spokesman Ari Fleischer said the United States and Germany have long had a strong relationship, "but this statement by the justice minister is outrageous and is inexplicable."

The regional Schwaebisches Tagblatt newspaper quoted German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's justice minister, Herta Daeubler-Gmelin, as saying "Bush wants to divert attention from his domestic problems. It's a classic tactic. It's one that Hitler used."

The Bush administration has been none too pleased that criticizing the United States over Iraq has been a key campaign plank for Schroeder in his re-election battle but has refrained from publicly commenting on the issue.

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