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The Tweetenkampfverbande: Trump Tweets Image of Waffen SS Soldiers–Underground Reich “Dog Whistle”?

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Waffen SS-clad World War II reenactors, in original photo used by Trump [6]

Waf­fen SS-clad World War II reen­ac­tors, in orig­i­nal pho­to used by Trump

COMMENT: As his cam­paign was gain­ing momen­tum in July of 2015, Don­ald Trump tweet­ed a cam­paign ad that fea­tured a pic­ture of uni­formed Waf­fen SS troop­ers in the low­er right-hand cor­ner. A pho­to­graph of Waf­fen SS-clad World War II reen­ac­tors, the pic­ture was blamed on “an intern.” This has become a famil­iar sort of dodge by Trump when caught tweet­ing [7] open­ly racist, anti-Semit­ic and/or pro-Nazi material–“Who, Me?”

In FTR #882 [8], we not­ed some of Trump’s “inter­est­ing” asso­ci­a­tions, from SS offi­cer Otto Von Bolschwing pro­tege and Rea­gan staffer Helene Von Damm, to Joe McCarthy aide Roy Cohn, to for­mer Axis spy Nor­man Vin­cent Peale.

We won­der if Trump is linked to, or part of, the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work [9]?

In FTR #894 [10], we under­scored the long and pro­found asso­ci­a­tion of the GOP with Nazis [11] and SS war crim­i­nals via the Gehlen orga­ni­za­tion, the over­lap­ping Cru­sade For Free­dom [12], and the for­mer World Anti-Com­mu­nist League. [13]

We won­der if the use of Waf­fen SS-clad troop­ers is a polit­i­cal “dog whis­tle” to Under­ground Reich/Nazi/white suprema­cist adher­ents?

Inter­est­ing­ly, and per­haps sig­nif­i­cant­ly, the broth­er of the pho­tog­ra­ph­er who snapped the orig­i­nal pic­ture had also had a pic­ture of SS-clad World War II reen­ac­tors [14] used by Tim Spear, a GOP state leg­is­la­tor in North Car­oli­na, in his 2010 cam­paign [15].

Worth con­sid­er­ing in this con­text is the fact that it is VERY sim­ple to come up with pic­tures of Amer­i­can sol­diers in uni­form. Any cam­paign seek­ing to cloak a can­di­date in “patri­ot­ic garb” would find it VERY easy to do that with­out resort­ing to the same pair of broth­ers’ pho­tographs of Waf­fen-SS-clad WWII reen­ac­tors.

“I have pho­tos of Amer­i­can sol­diers as well,” Cairns said. “But for some rea­son, [Amer­i­can GOP] politi­cians seem to be down­load­ing Nazis.” . . .

Also: in right-wing and some mil­i­tary peri­od­i­cals, the WWII Nazi mem­o­ra­bil­ia, gear and reen­act­ment milieu has been described as among the pos­si­ble entry por­tals avail­able to some­one who wants to move from play­ing with toys to actu­al Nazi activism.

Are we see­ing that here?

“Don­ald Trump Just Tweet­ed a Cam­paign Ad Fea­tur­ing What Look Like Nazi Sol­diers” by Ben Drey­fuss; Moth­er Jones; 7/14/2015. [16]

UPDATE: We spoke to the dude who took this Nazi pho­to and he told us some­thing that makes this whole sto­ry even more hilar­i­ous.Read here. [17]

Not long ago, Don­ald Trump sent out the fol­low­ing tweet:

The tweet is now delet­ed. Why did Trump delete it? Maybe it has some­thing to with those the sol­diers march­ing next to The Don­ald’s shoul­der:

#MEGAFAIL [18] ===> Yes, those aren’t just WW2 Ger­mans, they’re Waf­fen-SS in the Trump cam­paign pic https://t.co/BSFNuNrK6R [19]

— John Schindler (@20committee) July 14, 2015 [20]

Yes, Trump (or his graph­ic design min­ions) appar­ent­ly includ­ed a pho­to of sol­diers from the Waf­fen-SS [21], the noto­ri­ous mil­i­tary wing of the Nazi SS, in the image. John Schindler, who seems to know his World War II Ger­man uni­forms, has been detail­ing the Trump cam­paign’s pho­to-research fail:

100% cer­tain Waf­fen-SS ID on the Trump pic....if media want an explain­er how I am cer­tain, ask me https://t.co/b3pwWmdwHY [22]

— John Schindler (@20committee) July 14, 2015 [23]

.@charles_gaba [24]@MichaelNiemerg [25]@realDonaldTrump [26] they’re wear­ing Waf­fen-SS cuff titles, FFS...dude on left has late-war SS “dot” camo uni­form

— John Schindler (@20committee) July 14, 2015 [27]

Notice the late-war Waf­fen-SS “dot” camo tunic, with SS eagle on left arm as in the Trump pic https://t.co/b3pwWmdwHY [22]pic.twitter.com/ulScwicbZU [28]

— John Schindler (@20committee) July 14, 2015 [29]

See also Waf­fen-SS tunic with unit cuff title & SS eagle on left arm, as in Trump pic https://t.co/b3pwWmdwHY [22]pic.twitter.com/IdQlwcIebJ [30]

— John Schindler (@20committee) July 14, 2015 [31]

It’s not clear what the source of the pho­to in the Trump tweet is; the sol­diers in the pho­to could be mod­ern-day World War II reen­ac­tors. Accord­ing to the most recent poll [32] from Suffolk/USA Today, Trump leads the GOP field by three points.

Update, Tues­day 3:40pm ET: And the answers begin to trick­le in...

Found @realDonaldTrump [26]’s ger­man sol­dier stock image here (searched “world war II sol­diers”) http://t.co/GKkcNTUKpm [33]pic.twitter.com/ysWGeePZIr [34]

— Reed F. Richard­son (@reedfrich) July 14, 2015 [35]

Update 2, Tues­day 3:46pm ET: This GIF, by our own Ivylise Simones, is per­fect:

GIF: Ivylise Simones

Update 3, Tues­day 4:00pm ET: The Trump cam­paign says an intern did it:

Trump cam­paign responds: An intern did it. pic.twitter.com/oZBJAtwffl [36]

— Eric Geller (@ericgeller) July 14, 2015 [37]

“The Insane Sto­ry Behind Don­ald Trump’s Delet­ed Nazi Tweet” by Tim McDon­nell; Moth­er Jones; 7/14/2015. [17]

. . . . Cairns is a British free­lance stock pho­tog­ra­ph­er and pho­tog­ra­phy instruc­tor who says he fre­quents war reen­act­ments as good loca­tions to pick up real­is­tic-look­ing stock images—not just of Nazis, but also of Amer­i­can GIs and oth­er sol­diers. . . .

. . . . In an almost impos­si­bly bizarre coin­ci­dence, this isn’t the first time the Cairns fam­i­ly has been caught up in a pho­to ker­fuf­fle involv­ing Nazis and Amer­i­can politi­cians. George’s broth­er John is also a stock pho­tog­ra­ph­er, and took the image [38] of Nazi reen­ac­tors that was acci­den­tal­ly used in a fli­er [15] for the cam­paign of North Car­oli­na state leg­is­la­tor Tim Spear in 2010.

“I have pho­tos of Amer­i­can sol­diers as well,” Cairns said. “But for some rea­son, [Amer­i­can GOP] politi­cians seem to be down­load­ing Nazis.” . . .