Was a Russian reporter flashing Alt Right hand-signs in the White House?

A reporter with the Russian propaganda publication Sputnik, Cassandra Fairbanks, was in the White House recently with controversial far-right (some say white supremacist “Alt Right”) leader, and conspiracy theorist, Mike Cernovich.

Fairbanks and Cernovich were in the press briefing room, at the press secretary’s podium, when both flashed a hand gesture that, in white supremacist circles, means “white power.”

It’s a gesture that a number of Alt Right figures have flashed recently at the White House, and beyond.

Fairbanks claims the symbol had nothing to do with white supremacy. The Anti-Defamation League disagrees. While the symbol also looks like the “okay” hand gesture, it’s been recently used by a number of top figures of the Alt Right, and the question is why? Are we to believe they’re all flashing a somewhat outdated “okay” gesture from the White House? Again, why would they all do that — especially knowing that the gesture is being interpreted by many to be racist?

The Alt Right likes to push people’s buttons. The movement embraces Nazi imagery, and routinely harasses Jews online, particularly on Twitter with images of the Holocaust. Its adherents claim the anti-Semitism — and the larger cultural rabble-rousing — is all a joke, intended to show the absurdity of PC culture. So flashing white supremacist hand gestures at the White House could be another “joke” by a movement that finds concern about the Holocaust, and harassing Jews, funny.

The larger question is why Fairbanks and Cernovich were in the White House at all. Who let them in? Who approved their passes? And why, after flashing this sign at the press secretary’s podium, do they still have their passes?

In any other White House, having multiple members of the far-right flashing known white supremacist gestures at the press secretary’s podium would at a bare minimum merit an investigation. In the Trump White House, where this is hardly Team Trump’s first flirtation with anti-Semitism, silence.

I also find it curious that Russian media is consorting with lead Alt Right figures, and seemingly flirting with Alt Right memes. In recent years, Vladimir Putin used neo-Nazi groups across Russia to harass the country’s LGBT community, through violent kidnappings and extortion. In that context, it’s certainly interesting that Putin’s press is now palling around with America’s far right.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in New York City, and is the cofounder of TimeToResign.com. Bio, .

Share This Post

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    “while using pictures of two gay men using the sign”

    I guess I missed something. How did you know they were gay men?

  • Martini Unstirred

    Seriously, you wonder why an AMERICAN reporter who happens to work for a Russian outlet based in Washington DC is hanging out with other Americans? Then Suggest that the Alt-Right might be getting ready to use Neo-Nazis to try to control gays, while using pictures of two gay men using the sign you claim the ADL has said is a white supremacist sign. You are even stupid enough to link it to the ADL web page describing a sign using both hands one forming the W and the other the P. ITS NOT EVEN THE SAME SIGN!!!!

  • So the Three Eared Sphincter is now an international gang sign?

  • GeorgeMokray

    If you look at the video of Trmp’s recent rally, you’ll see he uses the same hand signal alternating with an index finger pointing straight up, “We’re #1!,” over and over again. “White Power” “#1!” repeated gesturally multiple times during his speech. Deliberate? Mebbe yes, mebbe no.

  • Vendetta

    > Fairbanks
    > Russian

    kys, Aravosis

  • PRRH

    I’m looking for that Jim Hoft tweet. What’s the date on it?

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