UPDATE: Former White House intern Jack Breuer has denied using a “white power” gesture during an intern class photo with President Donald Trump.
In a statement issued to The Daily Caller and shared on Twitter, Breuer said that he’s proud of his Jewish heritage and that he was just doing the “OK” sign with his hand because the president often uses the gesture.
"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," Breur said.
“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," he also added.
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. (1/2)— Jack Breuer (@jjbreue) December 29, 2017
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. (2/2)— Jack Breuer (@jjbreue) December 29, 2017
When the image was first made public, a fellow intern took offense to Breuer's gesture, saying that the sign 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.”
At the time, another intern said that Breuer was “probably doing it as a joke."
He may have just tried to emulate the president, as he says, but we hope he learned his lesson if that was the case. Perhaps, Breuer will think twice from now on before making gestures associated with white supremacists in public.
A White House intern used a “white power” sign while posing for a photo with fellow interns and President Donald Trump.
Jack Breuer, a graduate of Emory University in Atlanta, interned with White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller. Trump reportedly asked the group to make a thumbs up sign during the photo op, but Breuer flashed the “OK” sign with his right hand.
The sign has been controversial since it is said to depict the letter “P” with the ring and the letter “W” with the ring and little fingers standing upwards. The two letters joined together stand for the phrase “white power.”
The photo was clicked in November, but the White House recently emailed the images to the families of the interns — and that was when the provocative gesture was noticed.
Breuer and the White House didn’t immediately respond to a request to comment.
“Context is everything. Jack is pictured with President Trump, one of the most controversial leaders we've had. 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,” said one intern.
Another one said, “When President Trump arrived he spoke for a while about how beautiful we all are — and even mentioned some of the interns being fired. He joked for a bit then asked us all to do his signature thumbs up pose then went on his way.”
The simple “OK” sign became controversial when white nationalists and far-right activists began used it. White nationalist Richard Spencer and right-wing provocative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos have openly used the sign.
Odd that Nazis like Milo and Richard Spencer flash it, then ??. It's a W and P, for "white power" pic.twitter.com/ZAeA0mU7GH— Micah Lee (@micahflee) December 29, 2017
Trump’s policy adviser, Miller, is also believed to have made a “white power” sign as he was waiting to go on the air in the White House Briefing Room in Washington, D.C.
Don't forget Jewish Nazi Stephen Miller! Here he is flashing a White Power sign on TV. pic.twitter.com/U2kUtxa9kV— Sage_dude (@Sage_dude) August 13, 2017
In fact, Trump himself used the sign on a regular basis during his speeches.
Correct, as always Trump's White Power signage on full display!— Fabuliner17 (@ptufano17) December 11, 2017
Cannot wait for the day of reckoning to arrive when they finally straighten out those alt-right fingers & cuff?? his tiny little ?? hands!
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Eric Thayer