For Obvious Reasons, Twitter Reminds Trump ‘S.S.’ Is Bad Shorthand For Secret Service

President Donald Trump holds up a Bible outside of St. John's Episcopal church across Lafayette Park in Washington, DC on June 1, 2020. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

It started with a tweet on Thursday morning, as many Trump stories do.

President Trump referred to the U.S. Secret Service as the “S.S.” in a tweet about recent protests around the White House — an abbreviation that is historically recognized as the shorthand Adolf Hitler used for the Nazi Party’s paramilitary organization. 

The tweet applauded National Guard troops, D.C. police and the U.S. Secret Service for their handling of protesters presumably during the Lafayette Square debacle that has since been widely condemned by many military leaders and defense officials for the excessive use of force on demonstrators.

Twitter was immediately ablaze over Trump’s incendiary remarks — not only for again praising how force was wielded that day, but also for appearing to ignore the common abbreviation for the Secret Service — “USSS” — in favor of a historically problematic one.

While the term “S.S.” is a widely recognized as referring to the Nazi group, some questioned whether Trump knew of its origins and was astute enough to draw such a link between American secret service officers and Nazi police.

An op-ed contributor to The New York Times, Wajahat Ali, called it “a classic case of projection,” suggesting that the omission of “US” perhaps signaled more ominous desires by Trump to imitate the WWII era dictator.

Still others, like London-based author Umair Haque, went as far as to say the reference represented a kind of “loud and clear” signaling of supremacy and fascism.

Trump has also been criticized for an announcement from his campaign on Wednesday that the president will stage its first rally in months in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 19th — “Juneteenth” — a day that commemorates the end of slavery. The location is historically significant and a dubious selection because that is where a white mob killed hundreds of black people in what is now known as the “Tulsa Massacre” in 1921.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: