A former White House intern is coming under fire after flashing a known ‘white power’ sign during a photo-op with President Donald Trump.
Jack Breuer, who graduated from Emory University in Atlanta this year, is clearly bucking orders — personally given by the president — to give a thumbs-up in the picture that was taken in the White House in November.
While the other hundred or so interns smile and follow Trump’s command, Breuer, a dentist’s son who grew up in Chicago’s western suburbs, stands stony-faced giving the ‘OK’ sign that has been linked with far-right groups.
It is the same sign that white nationalist Richard Spencer gave on the steps of the Trump International Hotel on election night and that right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos posed with in front of the White House.
It was also seen at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August – the same day an alleged Nazi sympathizer accelerated his car into anti-protesters, killing one and injuring several others.
All those surrounding Breuer on the right side of the picture are using their left hands to give their thumbs-up, with him standing out by using his right hand.
The gesture – which only makes sense if made with the right hand, although there are examples of people making it with their left hand – is said to depict the letter ‘W’ with the outstretched middle, ring and little fingers, and a ‘P’ with the circle made by the thumb and forefinger stretching down to the wrist. Together ‘WP’ stands for White Power.
Former White House intern Jack Breuer held up a ‘white power’ sign during a photo-op with President Trump and fellow interns in the East Room in November. The Emory University alum clearly bucked orders — personally given by the president — to give a thumbs-up
All those surrounding Breuer on the right side of the picture are using their left hands to give their thumbs-up, with him standing out by using his right hand
Breuer (pictured), who is in his early 20s, worked for Stephen Miller, the president’s senior advisor for four months starting in September. A fellow intern said: ‘Jack’s a good kid and is probably doing it as a joke. Some people do consider it a joke because it is the OK sign’
Breuer, who is in his early 20s, did not respond to DailyMail.com’s attempts to reach him. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Breuer’s controversial stand was only spotted when other interns were mailed the picture from the White House earlier this month — just in time for Christmas.
‘Context is everything,’ one fellow intern told DailyMail.com. ‘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.’
The intern said Breuer’s placement in the picture would not have been Breuer’s decision because all the interns were marched in one-by-one and carefully positioned by height to improve the aesthetics of the photograph. They then waited for nearly 90 minutes before the president arrived.
The fellow intern added: ‘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.’
A protester flashes the ‘white power sign’ – or what he thinks is the white power sign – as he joined hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the ‘alt-right’ in Charlottesville, Virginia, in mid August, before a ‘Nazi sympathizer’ accelerated his car into anti-protesters and killed one. In theory the sign only works if made with the right hand but some white nationalists appear to use it on either hand
The president regularly uses the OK sign when making speeches, however he does not generally stretch his three fingers out to form the ‘W’ (pictured)
The president’s son, Eric, was also in the room, although he did not pose in the picture.
‘Jack’s a good kid and is probably doing it as a joke,’ added the intern who requested anonymity. ‘Some people do consider it a joke because it is the OK sign.’
Breuer worked for Stephen Miller, the president’s senior advisor for policy for four months starting in September, according to his LinkedIn page.
Miller himself has been attacked for having allegedly racist views, with Essence Magazine pointing to a letter he wrote to a paper in Santa Monica, California, in which he attacked Spanish speakers, the LGBT community and native Americans, while Mother Jones reported that he had close ties to Richard Spencer.
The OK hand signal has gained popularity as it mimics one of Trump’s favorite signs. The president regularly uses the OK sign when making speeches, however he does not generally stretch his three fingers out to form the ‘W.’
The sign has gained popularity among the so-called alt-right. Writers Jim Hoft and Lucien Wintrich of the extremist Gateway Pundit posed at the podium of the White House Briefing Room making the sign — although Wintrich used his left hand, destroying its significance.
The hand gesture was made by white nationalist Richard Spencer on the steps of the Trump International Hotel on election night last November (pictured)
Right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos (pictured) also flashed the ‘white nationalist’ sign when he posed in front of the White House wearing Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ hat
The cartoon character Pepe the Frog (left), a meme among the alt-right has also used the signal. The gesture only works if made with the right hand and is said to depict the letter ‘W’ and a ‘P’. Together ‘WP’ stands for White Power (right)
The cartoon character Pepe the Frog, a meme among the alt-right has also used the signal.
However the Anti Defamation League — which lists Pepe as racist — says the OK sign is a hoax and should not be considered a signal of the white supremacy.
The ADL says the sign started as a hoax on the Internet discussion board 4chan where a user posted a message saying ‘we must flood Twitter and other social media websites…claiming that the OK hand sign is a symbol of white supremacy.’
He then added: ‘Leftists have dug so deep down into their lunacy,’ wrote the poster, ‘We must force [them] to dig more, until the rest of society ain’t going anywhere near that s***.’