Hot new conspiracy theory: Donald Trump's 88 generals a secret shout-out to neo-Nazis

A neo-Nazi in Skokie, Illinois
(Image credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Donald Trump released a list of 88 retired generals and admirals endorsing him, and on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton countered with her own list of 95 retired generals and admirals. The dueling lists of military endorsees are pretty small compared with the 500 retired admirals and generals who signed on to an ad in The Washington Times backing Republican Mitt Romney in 2012, NBC News reports, suggesting that many service members are angry about both Clinton's emails and Trump's insults to Sen. John McCain's POW experience and the Gold Star family of Khizr Khan.

Trump's 88 generals and admirals also raised eyebrows for another reason, Lilly Maier notes at The Forward: "88 is a well-known code for 'Heil Hitler.'" As the Anti-Defamation League explains: "H is the eighth letter of the alphabet, so 88 = HH = Heil Hitler. One of the most common white supremacist symbols, 88 is used throughout the entire white supremacist movement, not just neo-Nazis." So is Trump only able to muster up 88 middling former military brass, or is he dog-whistling to white supremacists? Almost certainly the latter ("The number [88] is used by ham radio operators to mean 'hugs' or 'hugs and kisses,'" too, the Anti-Defamation League notes). But it makes you wonder — in the same way Hillary Clinton coughing makes you wonder if she secretly has Parkinson's, perhaps. You can read more at The Forward.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us