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Story highlights

Coffman appeared to be the first GOP lawmaker to call for Spicer's ouster

He responded to a town hall question

(CNN) —  

White House press secretary Sean Spicer “needs to go” in the fallout of his comments about Adolf Hitler, Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado said Wednesday night. In doing so, Coffman appeared to become the first Republican member of Congress to publicly call for Spicer’s ouster.

Coffman, a moderate representing a swing district in and around Aurora, was asked at a town hall about Spicer’s remarks this week that even Hitler didn’t “sink to using chemical weapons” during the Holocaust. He made the remarks while discussing Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and a recent chemical attack that killed dozens in the country.

The pointed question to Coffman came from a woman who said her great-grandparents died in Auschwitz.

“What is your thoughts at this time of a president who has anti-Semetic people in his Cabinet?” she asked. She wanted Coffman’s reaction to the fact that Spicer made reference to a “Holocaust center” and suggested that “Hitler didn’t use gas on his own people.”

“I need to hear from my congressman that these things are unacceptable,” the woman said.

“Spicer made a terrible mistake yesterday. If you’re not familiar with what he did is that he…” Coffman began to say, but the audience made clear that it didn’t want to hear excuses.

Throwing up his hands, Coffman said: “He needs to go.”

Spicer has repeatedly apologized for his comments, calling them “inexcusable and reprehensible.”