USA Today had egg on its face after running a “fact check” story verifying the theory that a Trump campaign T-shirt depicts a Nazi symbol. After causing outrage, it clarified that the bald eagle is a “longtime US symbol too.”
“The claim: Trump campaign shirts feature imperial eagle, a Nazi symbol,” USA Today tweeted on Saturday. “Our ruling: true.”
The claim: Trump campaign shirts feature imperial eagle, a Nazi symbolOur ruling: True https://t.co/3eCiYdgQvK
The similarities between the images boils down to the use of an eagle with its wings raised. Beyond that, critics could not find enough evidence to view USA Today’s piece as anything more than an anti-Trump puff piece.
“Worth noting!” Spectator USA contributor Stephen Miller tweeted in reaction.
“I’m sorry, what?” Noah Blum added.
Others trolled the paper on Twitter with images of eagles displayed by other US lawmakers, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California).
But Nancy’s good, right? pic.twitter.com/340sKx4GyK
Following your logic (Of which, there really isnt any logic involved at all, but then you are USA Today), then @SpeakerPelosi has worn her Nazi symbol openly and proudly upon her shoulder on many, many occasions. pic.twitter.com/4WY6ciPi5X
You mean like this one from noted Nazi *squints* @SpeakerPelosi? pic.twitter.com/BvylukqIp8
USA Today appeared to walk back their “fact check” in a “correction” on Sunday, noting that the eagle is a “longtime US symbol,” as well as a motif used by the Nazis, but confirming as “true” the “fact” that the Trump campaign has been accused of using a Nazi symbol.
Clarification: The claim that Trump 2020 has put out a T-shirt with a symbol similar to a Nazi eagle and is being criticized for it is true. Worth noting, the eagle is a longtime US symbol, too.
The accusations of the Trump campaign using Nazi imagery on the shirt were started by Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, a political advocacy group for “progressive Jews” that has accused Trump of using Nazi iconography in the past, and the Lincoln Project, a staunchly anti-Trump group made up of ‘never Trump’ Republicans such as George Conway.
The Trump campaign responded to the accusations in a typically upfront fashion. “This is moronic. In Democrats’ America, Mount Rushmore glorifies white supremacy and the bald eagle with an American flag is a Nazi symbol. They have lost their minds,” Tim Murtaugh, the Trump 2020 communications director, told USA Today.
The Great Seal of America, on which the symbol depicted on the Trump T-shirt is most likely based, was designed in 1782, and features an eagle holding arrows and an olive branch. It is widely used in American politics and is impressed on “official documents such as treaties and commissions,” according to the State Department.
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