A former White House intern who worked for Donald Trump’s xenophobic senior policy adviser Stephen Miller has apologized for flashing the “WP” hand gesture popular among young white supremacists during a group photo with the president.
He also offered a pathetic explanation for why he posed with the “white power” symbol, claiming he was imitating the president’s own hand gestures.
The Daily Mail first reported the story about former intern Jack Breuer’s gesturing of “WP” instead of going with a thumb’s up pose like all of the other interns, per the president’s request.
After several news outlets picked up the story, Breuer, a student from Emory University, posted his explanation on social media, saying, “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.”
He added that he is proud of his Jewish heritage and strongly rejects “the hateful views associated with racist white power organizations.”
Right–wing publications were quick to point out Breuer’s mea culpa, with The Daily Caller adding that the entire “WP” hand gesture thing is just a big joke started on 4chan:
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.”
Joke or not, several people have noted that context matters, and just like the hijacking of the “Pepe the Frog” meme, there are several examples of white nationalist dipshits like Richard Spencer flashing the “OK” white power symbol.
“It is a distinct symbol known in alt-right circles and what makes it worse is that he is doing it in the East Room just below the portrait of George Washington,” one of Breuer’s fellow interns told the Daily Mail.
So why would a former intern for Stephen Miller who is of Jewish heritage do something like this? One of two explanations is likely: Either he’s a racist like most of Trump’s base and the majority of the White House staff, or he was kidding. Either way, it was a bad idea.
“Jack’s a good kid and is probably doing it as a joke,” the fellow intern told the newspaper.