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)
June 11, 2020 11:43 a.m.

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.

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