What Trump says about ‘Hitler salutes’

March 8, 2016
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump asks his supporters to raise their hands and promise to vote for him at his campaign rally at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida March 5, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Kolczynski

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump asks his supporters to raise their hands and promise to vote for him at his campaign rally at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida March 5, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Kolczynski

 

Donald Trump says it’s all “a big stretch.” The Republican front-runner denies that images of his rambunctious, arm-waving supporters pledging support at a Florida rally bore any resemblance to the notorious “Heil Hitler” salutes of Nazi Germany. “I never knew it was a problem,” Trump told NBC today.

“I think it’s ridiculous. I mean, we’re having such a great time,” he said in a phone interview.

“Sometimes we’ll do it for fun, and they’ll start screaming at me ‘Do the swear in, do the swear in.’ Almost everybody in the room raises their hand.”

In politics, though, it’s all about optics. Early on in his bid for the White House, Trump’s official Twitter page sent out a promotional photo featuring Nazi soldiers superimposed on an image of the U.S. flag. (The campaign later deleted the tweet and blamed an intern for the incident.)

Together with his calls to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants  and impose a temporary ban on Muslims seeking to enter the U.S., it’s probably not surprising that the Florida photos led to many juxtaposing the Trump rally visual with images depicting World War II-era Nazi sympathizers saluting Adolf Hitler.

 

 

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