Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ilhan Omar politics

Trump Flashes White Supremacist Hand Gesture While Saying ‘AOC’ During Turning Point USA Speech

The president went on to call Tlaib a "vicious crazed lunatic".

Donald Trump gave a speech on Tuesday to Turning Point USA, which he described as “some of the greatest and smartest young people on the planet”.

That’s a debatable characterization.

Both Charlie Kirk (Turning Point’s founder) and Candace Owens (the group’s former director of communications) are right-wing darlings in the Trump era, despite being controversial and, some say, wholly cartoonish, figures. The group has seized the spotlight in 2019 with Kirk and Owens scoring speaking time at CPAC. RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel described the duo as “rising stars”, who are “the future of the party”, earlier this year.

Owens is perhaps best known for a dubious soundbite in which she mounted a bizarre pseudo-defense of Adolph Hitler. You can watch that clip in our CPAC recap, from March. Owens eventually stepped down from her Turning Point role under pressure for saying Hitler was an “OK” leader.

Predictably, Trump used his Tuesday speech to the group to lash out at Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib. When he mentioned AOC, he flashed the infamous white power hand signal that landed Marine Le Pen in hot water earlier this year.

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Trump will doubtlessly claim he was simply making the letter “O”, but skeptics will abound.

Le Pen made the same gesture while posing for a selfie with the far-right Estonian lawmaker Ruuben Kaalep and was forced to disavow it later. “It isn’t a white supremacist gesture, it’s a gesture that means ‘O.K.’”, she explained. Nobody was convinced.

You can draw your own conclusions, but before you write this off as nothing, we would encourage anyone interested to Google the hand gesture – it is “a thing”, so to speak.

The president went on to call Tlaib a “vicious crazed lunatic” and maligned those who voted for the congresswoman. “She’s screaming – who elected her?”, he wondered.


Earlier Tuesday, Trump delivered another wild tirade against Omar on Twitter. “In 2016 I almost won Minnesota. In 2020, because of America hating anti-Semite Rep. Omar, & the fact that Minnesota is having its best economic year ever, I will win the State!”, he said.

As we detailed on Friday, Trump’s claims about being the best thing to ever happen to Minnesota economically are exaggerated, at best. His characterization of Omar as an “America hating anti-Semite” is patently false and wholly despicable.

During his speech at Turning Point, the president goaded the crowd into loudly booing the press.


Bear in mind, this was an event for children. Specifically, it was the “teen student action summit”.

As you can see, the “actions” the president is encouraging (both implicitly and explicitly) aren’t necessarily compatible with American values. Or at least not as most people (including traditional conservatives) understand them.


7 comments on “Trump Flashes White Supremacist Hand Gesture While Saying ‘AOC’ During Turning Point USA Speech

  1. Anonymous says:

    He’s always doing that when he’s explaining something. Trump Jnr has started doing it. There’s more than enough to accuse of, but i doubt whether this is one of them.

  2. Harvey Darrow Cotton says:

    One of the ways Trump wins is by throwing off his opponents as to whether he is an evil genius, an idiot, or crazy. Maybe he threw up an “A ok” symbol so that when people call him out for being racist, he can say it is an established gesture meaning something else so therefore all acts of overt and covert racism should be viewed with suspicion as fake news by an Establishment bent on taking him down. Or it is a dog whistle. Or it is the random hand movements of a doddering old man who uses his hands a lot. Who knows? Who cares? “Haul ass and bypass.” Stick to the things that matter and hammer them into the public consciousness. Kids in cages. Immigration goon squads. Charlottesville. The demos do not have the will to focus on minutiae.

  3. According to the Anti Defamation League, the “white power” meaning of the gesture is a hoax that started on 4chan and his since been used by right-wingers to troll liberals:

    The article does, though, say that apparently some white supremacists have dropped the original trolling intent of the gesture and seem to be using it as a sincere gesture of hatred. Snopes also has a page on an incident from a while back where a White House intern made the OK gesture in a group photo. The intern, Jack Breuer, apparently is Jewish:

    Trump seems to be making the sign to emphasize the “O” in “AOC”, though who knows with this guy….

  4. Just for the record, the previous comment was not an attempt to mitigate the disgust any decent human being should feel at the racist garbage that comes out of Trump’s mouth and Twitter account. If he is, in fact, trying to force the Democrats to rally around Omar just so he can then turn the entire party into a lightning rod for the hatred of Ilhan he’s fomented among his base, it’s a whole new dimension in cynical political calculation. Lee Atwater looks pedestrian by comparison.

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