Mainstream media coverage and political reaction to the mass murders in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, has ranged from erratic to truly bizarre, and a theory posed on MSNBC by a former FBI assistant director connecting President Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler falls in the latter category.
Frank Figliuzzi, the former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence and a regular contributor to NBC News, told MSNBC's Brian Williams on Monday that President Trump's decision to fly flags at half-staff until Aug. 8 may very well be a tip of the cap to white supremacist groups. Here's what he said:
The president's either getting really good advice and rejecting it, or he's getting really bad advice. We have to understand the adversary and the threat we're dealing with, and if we don't understand how they think, we'll never understand how to counter them, so it's the little things and the messaging that matters.
The president says that we will fly our flags at half-mast until August 8, that's 8/8. Now I'm not going to imply that he did this deliberately, but I am using it as an example of the ignorance of the adversary demonstrated by the White House. The numbers 8/8 are very significant in the neo-Nazi and the white supremacy movement. Why? Because the letter 'H' is the eighth letter of the alphabet, and to them, the numbers 8/8 stand for 'Heil Hitler.'
So we're going to be raising the flag back up at dusk on 8/8. No one's thinking about this. No one's giving the advice, or he's rejecting the advice."
There are some unanswered questions related to Figliuzzi's theory, including what exactly raising the flag on 8/8 is saying to white supremacists and neo-Nazis, and what other activities done on 8/8 might constitute white supremacist signaling.
In the same interview, Figliuzzi claims President Trump did not do enough to condemn white supremacy in his Monday speech, because he used too much passive voice and not enough first-person language.
"What happens is the extremists interpret what the president read off of a script today as something he needed to say, something he didn't really want to say," Figliuzzi said.
Watch the rest here:
Frank Figliuzzi: Trump Failed By Not Directly Condemning White Supremacists | The 11th Hour | MSNBC youtu.be