After a horrifying pair of mass shootings within 15 hours of each other on Saturday morning and the early hours of Sunday, as The Inquisitr reported, President Donald Trump has been seen as deflecting blame for motivating domestic terrorism by white supremacists with his own statements in campaign rallies and on Twitter.
As The Inquisitr covered, a so-called "manifesto" posted by one of the mass killers echoed hostile language used by Trump to describe Latin American immigrants.
Trump gave a speech on Monday at the White House as he read from a script on a teleprompter in which he, as a CNN analysis noted, "tried to blame a lot of things for a series of horrific shootings over the weekend."
"What he didn't do was take any of the blame onto himself or pledge to change his rhetoric," the outlet added.
But according to an observation made by former high-ranking FBI official Frank Figliuzzi in an MSNBC interview on Monday evening, Trump may have done more than simply ignore his own relationship to the white supremacist hate movement. Per Figliuzzi, the president actually sent a direct -- though coded -- message to white supremacists when he announced that federal flags would be flown at half-mast in honor of those slain in the weekend's mass shootings, Figliuzzi said.
Trump announced that the flags would be raised to full height again on Thursday, August 8 — a day of great significance to white supremacists, Figliuzzi explained, as seen on the MSNBC video below.August 8 is a date that is also rendered as 8/8, Figliuzzi explained. Because "H" is the eighth letter of the alphabet, he stated, the numbers 88 are often used by white supremacists as code for "Heil Hitler."
Figliuzzi's explanation of "8/8" is supported by the Anti-Defamation League, which studies and monitors hate groups worldwide.
"One of the most common white supremacist symbols, 88 is used throughout the entire white supremacist movement, not just neo-Nazis," the ADL explains. "One can find it as a tattoo or graphic symbol; as part of the name of a group, publication or website; or as part of a screenname or e-mail address."
Though Figliuzzi did not explicitly accuse Trump of knowingly using the "88" symbol, he said he was "concerned" that one of Trump's speechwriters understood the significance of the August 8 date, as he said in the interview posted on YouTube.
"I'm fascinated by what he's rejecting," Figliuzzi said, noting that Trump's advisers could have written an "excellent speech" on the subject of countering white supremacist terrorism, but that speech may have been rejected by Trump.
"He either chose to not take that advice, or he's not willing to solicit the advice," Figliuzzi said.