A former White House intern accused of flashing a “white power” symbol in a group photo with the president insists he was simply mimicking Trump’s signature “OK” hand gesture and denies any association with far right groups, he tells The Daily Caller.
“In some of our intern pictures, I emulated the OK sign the President sometimes makes. That was foolish. I should have listened more closely to the Commander-in-Chief and given the thumbs up,” former intern Jack Breuer told The Daily Caller in a statement, adding “I’m proud of my Jewish heritage and strongly reject the hateful views associated with racist white power organizations. I would never make common cause with them.”
Breuer also posted the statement on his Twitter page late Thursday night.
Breuer flashed the OK sign in a group photo with the president, a hand symbol activists claim the alt right co-opted to signify “white power.”
According to the Daily Mail:
The gesture — which only makes sense if made with the right hand, although there are examples of people making it with their left hand — is said to depict the letter ‘W’ with the outstretched middle, ring and little fingers, and a ‘P’ with the circle made by the thumb and forefinger stretching down to the wrist. Together ‘WP’ stands for White Power.
The Mail included photos of far right personalities like Richard Spencer flashing the hand gesture as a sort of guilt by association. The accusation quickly spiraled across social media and was picked up by several news outlets.
— The Hill (@thehill) December 29, 2017
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) December 29, 2017
— David Martosko (@dmartosko) December 28, 2017
By Breuer’s account, however, he was simply mimicking a well known gesture often used by Trump in public appearances. In the photo at the top of the page, he is flashing a double OK.
The Anti Defamation league even noted in May 2017 “the ‘OK’ Gesture Is Not a Hate Symbol” telling readers “the “OK” hand gesture hoax originated in February 2017 when an anonymous 4chan user announced “Operation O-KKK.”
The user reportedly told others that “we must flood Twitter and other social media websites … claiming that the OK hand sign is a symbol of white supremacy.”
This report, by Saagar Enjeti, was cross posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.