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Liberty University communications director Ryan Helfenbein sparked controversy in an interview last week when he referred to Adolf Hitler and other murderous dictators while discussing cultural battles over education at the Road to Majority Policy Conference held in Washington, D.C.

“Education really is evangelism. If you don’t control education, you cannot control the future—Stalin knew that, Mao knew that, Hitler knew that. We have to get that back for conservative values,” Helfenbein said in a video posted by The Tennessee Holler, a left-leaning organization.

The comment came in the same week that an Indiana chapter of Moms for Liberty used a Hitler quote. Moms for Liberty—an unrelated nonprofit organization that has driven the removal of books from school libraries across the nation—quoted the German despot in a newsletter: “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” After facing national backlash, the group issued an apology.

Helfenbein, however, doubled down on his use of the Hitler reference, tweeting, “In a thinly veiled effort to spin and smear, a leftist political group cut out the question entirely for this response.”

A longer version of the video shows Helfenbein responding to an interviewer who argues that elementary school students are being brainwashed “to deny their maker and deny their gender.” Helfenbein responds that “this is an evangelistic movement on the left” and students are being indoctrinated, leading to the quote in which he referenced Hitler and the others.

Liberty University did not respond to a request for comment.

In addition to his role as communications director for Liberty, Helfenbein is also the executive director of the affiliated Standing for Freedom Center, which was founded by former Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. and Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA, which organizes students to advocate for conservative causes. The Standing for Freedom Center was formally known as the Falkirk Center, but neither namesake is currently involved with the organization.