Staff members at Donald Trump’s North Carolina political rally Friday night told members of the audience to drop their controversial QAnon one-finger salute, a journalist for NPR reported.
Those attending Trump’s rally in Youngstown, Ohio, last week sparked a controversy after many raised their arms pointing skyward in a gesture chillingly evocative of the stiff-armed “heil Hitler” salute honoring the late Nazi leader.
Hillary Clinton on Friday slammed the Ohio rally, comparing it to past Nazi gatherings in Germany, and Trump to Hitler.
“You saw the rally in Ohio the other night: Trump is there ranting and raving for more than an hour, and you have these rows of young men with their arms raised,” she said at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin.
The comparisons may also have been worrisome for the Trump rally organizers in North Caroline because one man in the crowd at Wilmington told NPR’s Lisa Desjardins that a rally staffer told him to put his hand down when he raised the one-finger salute.
Other staff members could be seen telling others in the crowd the same, according to Desjardins. “Clearly,” they “had been directed to watch for this kind of gesture and to shut it down,” she tweeted.
Those attending the rally said the index-finger gesture stands for the QAnon sign WWG1WGA, or: “Where We Go One We Go All.”
But there were plenty of other conservative signifiers, such as Trump’s rally songs “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and Elvis Presley singing “Dixie.”
The former president also flashed from the stage an “OK” sign, a gesture often used to communicate white supremacy and frequently employed by QAnon disciples.
Trump promoted local candidates he has endorsed, and took the opportunity to bash investigations into his political and business practices.
He repeatedly attacked New York Attorney General Letitia James, bizarrely referring to her as “Peekaboo” several times, and calling her “disgusting,” “racist” and a “raging maniac” for investigating his business. A lawsuit (which Trump referred to as “depraved”) filed by her office earlier this week accuses Trump and his three oldest children of vastly misrepresenting the value of their assets to obtain loans and favorable insurance payouts, and undercut taxes.