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Holocaust survivor slams Trump’s ‘Heil Hitler’ salute: ‘He’s asking them to swear allegiance to him’

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A Holocaust survivor and longtime watchdog of right-wing extremist groups said Donald Trump is playing a dangerous game by leading followers in a Nazi-style pledge.

Abraham Foxman, the former director of the Anti-Defamation League, harshly criticized the Republican presidential candidate for asking supporters to raise their right hands in salute and promise to vote for him in the Florida primary election, reported the Times of Israel.

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“As a Jew who survived the Holocaust, to see an audience of thousands of people raising their hands in what looks like the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute is about as offensive, obnoxious and disgusting as anything I thought I would ever witness in the United States of America,” said Foxman, who was born in Poland in 1940 and was saved from the Nazis by his Catholic nanny.

He told the newspaper that the gesture’s symbolism was obvious and troubling.

“It is a fascist gesture,” Foxman said. “He is smart enough — he always tells us how smart he is — to know the images that this evokes. Instead of asking his audience to pledge allegiance to the United States of America, which in itself would be a little bizarre, he’s asking them to swear allegiance to him.”

The Nazi Party adopted the stiff-armed salute to signal obedience to leader Adolph Hitler, and it’s still used today by right-wing extremists.

“We’ve seen this sort of thing at rallies of neo-Nazis. We’ve seen it at rallies of white supremacists. But to see it at a rally for a legitimate candidate for the presidency of the United States is outrageous,” Foxman said.

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Trump also warned supporters who took the pledge that “bad things” would happen to them if they broke their sworn pledge to vote for him — and Foxman was particularly disturbed by that.

“This is so over the top for a man who really doesn’t come out of the underground,” Foxman said. “He is a man of the world. Even though he proclaims he doesn’t know who David Duke was, or the other white supremacists, we know very well that he knows. So he’s playing to an image.”

Trump continues to lead the GOP presidential field despite — or possibly because of — a steady stream of outrageous and controversial remarks, and Foxman warned that this might have dangerously emboldened the real estate tycoon and reality TV star.

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“I think he was intoxicated with all the things that he’s already got away with, and it led him to this,” Foxman said. “This is the summit of his own intoxication with what he perceives as his leadership quality.”

Trump’s underlying message of violence is “increasingly appealing” to his supporters, Foxman said, and threatens to “break all the taboos of civil behavior.”

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“When he said, ‘I can walk down the street on Fifth Avenue and kill somebody and my supporters will not desert me,’ he knows exactly what buttons he’s pushing,” Foxman said. “Or when that guy interrupted his speech. People in that situation may think internally, ‘Oh, I want to punch him in the mouth.’ But you don’t say it, you don’t say it, because it’s not civilized. But he said it and it was applauded.”

Foxman, who led the ADL from 1987 until his retirement last year, said Saturday’s rally was an unprecedented moment in American political history.

“You can find some authoritarian, semi-fascist tinges in Southern politics during the segregationist era,” he said. “But there’s never been anything like this, and nothing on this scale.”

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China vows to retaliate for Trump’s Rose Garden press conference — and could impose new sanctions on America

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US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he was ending preferential trade treatment for Hong Kong and had signed into law an act that authorises sanctions on banks over China's clampdown in the international finance hub.

In a discursive news conference dominated by attacks on his domestic rivals, Trump declared himself to be the toughest president ever on China, a country he is increasingly positioning as his nemesis ahead of November elections.

Trump announced that he had issued an executive order on Hong Kong as he predicted decline for the restless city, on which Beijing recently imposed a tough new security law.

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2020 Election

Trump’s former White House doctor Ronny Jackson wins GOP runoff for Congress in Texas

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Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician and President Donald Trump's onetime nominee for secretary of veterans affairs, has won his bid for the Republican nomination for a solidly red congressional seat in the Texas Panhandle.

With 100% of polling locations reporting, though some mail-in ballots will still need to be counted, Jackson held a lead of 11 percentage points over Josh Winegarner, a veteran agriculture expert and lobbyist. Jackson and Winegarner were competing for a seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, who is retiring and held the seat since 1995.

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Ivanka Trump’s tweet raises eyebrows: ‘Why is a senior White House official endorsing a food product?’

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As her big brother was dragging their 14-year-old half brother into the 2020 campaign, senior White House advisor Ivanka Trump was endorsing a line of canned food products.

If it’s Goya, it has to be good. Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno. pic.twitter.com/9tjVrfmo9z

— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) July 15, 2020

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