In a tweet Thursday morning, President Trump abbreviated “Secret Service” to “S.S.” — also the abbreviation for the Schutzstaffel, a paramilitary organization created by Adolf Hitler. One of its units was responsible for enforcing Nazi racial policy.
Our great National Guard Troops who took care of the area around the White House could hardly believe how easy it was. “A walk in the park”, one said. The protesters, agitators, anarchists (ANTIFA), and others, were handled VERY easily by the Guard, D.C. Police, & S.S. GREAT JOB!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 11, 2020
The accepted abbreviation for the Secret Service is USSS, and Trump has tweeted using that form in the past.
The Jewish Democratic Council of America called the tweet “Another dog whistle to white supremacists and neo-Nazis.” Adding, “@realDonaldTrump is the biggest threat to American Jews.”
Trump is known for his cavalier manner with spelling, punctuation and capitalization on Twitter, but in this case he may well have abbreviated the name of his team of personal bodyguards merely to make sure his tweet fit, as it exactly fits Twitter’s 280-character limit.
Jewish Twitter took note.
Who had “Donald Trump refers to the secret service as the SS” on their bingo card? pic.twitter.com/cMDFf1iEwa— Tema Smith (@temasmith) June 11, 2020
Others pointed out that the Secret Service’s actual abbreviation is USSS, which also would have fit within the character limit.
BREAKING: Moments ago Trump thanked the “S.S.” for handling protesters.
For those who are unaware, the SS was Hitler’s Nazis who ran the concentration camps and mass murdered peaceful civilians in the holocaust.
FYI: The Secret Service uses the acronym USSS.— Black Lives Matter (@HKrassenstein) June 11, 2020
The tweet followed a series on Wednesday night in which Trump threatened to take control of the city of Seattle, the site of intense protest.
“These ugly Anarchists must be stooped IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!” the president wrote.
The SS was responsible for deporting Jews to concentration camps and ghettos, and was the main group tasked with murdering Jews as a part of Hitler’s “Final Solution.” The historian Richard Rhodes wrote that they existed “outside the bounds of morality.”
SS officers had to prove Aryan ancestry. SS officers were also paid more than other soldiers because they were expected to have more children to pass on their elite genes in keeping with Nazi doctrine.
Helen Chernikoff is The Forward’s senior news editor. Contact her at email@example.com or follower her on Twitter @thesimplechild
Molly Boigon contributed reporting.