A former FBI assistant director used numerology on MSNBC Monday to link neo-Nazism to President Donald Trump’s decision to fly flags at half-staff to honor the victims of shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
Frank Figluizzi floated the unsubstantiated conspiracy theory during an interview with Brian Williams.
Figluizzi, an MSNBC contributor, said Trump’s decision will appeal to neo-Nazis and supporters of Adolf Hitler because of the date that the flags will return to full mast. Earlier on Monday, Aug. 5, Trump ordered flags to be lowered for three days in order to honor the 31 victims of the two mass shootings.
Figluizzi said that he was “not going to imply” that Trump deliberately timed the flag maneuvers to appeal to neo-Nazis, but then he laid out his theory to an unflinching Brian Williams.
“The president said that we will fly our flags at half mast, until August 8th. 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 that’s being demonstrated by the White House,” he said.
“The numbers 88 are very significant in neo-Nazi and white supremacy movement. Why? Because the letter ‘H’ is the eighth letter of the alphabet, and to them the numbers 88 together Stand for ‘Heil Hitler.’ So we’re going to be raising the flag back up at dusk on 8/8,” he continued.
Williams appeared to accept Figliuzzi’s rationale.
“I know you’re keeping your options open there, Frank, but as chilling as that is to hear, you’re saying it’s possible that someone who knows better is authoring or editing the words that show up and are read verbatim, or are supposed to be read verbatim, by the president,” he said.
Democrats and many in the media have blamed Trump for the El Paso shooting, which left 22 people dead at a Walmart. Patrick Crusius, who was arrested in the massacre, allegedly posted a manifesto shortly before the shooting on Saturday in which he railed against the “Hispanic invasion.” (RELATED: ‘Hispanic Invasion’: Alleged El Paso Shooter Posted Anti-Immigrant Manifesto)
In a speech on Monday, Trump condemned white supremacy and racism, and called the shooting an act of domestic terrorism.
Connor Betts, who killed nine during a shooting early Sunday in Dayton’s entertainment district, was an avowed leftist, though it is still unclear whether his political beliefs played a role in the attack. FBI officials working the case said they have evidence that Betts embraced “violent ideologies,” but did not describe them.
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