Two right-wing California activists posed with Rep. David Nunes (R-CA) at an event over the weekend, with one repeatedly making a gesture that has previously been associated with white nationalism, reports the Sacramento Bee.
Ben Bergquam, wearing a red Trump hat and a t-shirt declaring, “Trump is your president,” posed next to Rep. Devin Nunes. On the other side of Nunes, Josh Fulfer, sported an American flag hat, brandished the three-fingered salute that’s had a complicated history in the past few years, as many people linked to white nationalism have co-opted it in various ways.
Bergquam took down the images, yet defended the gesture in a video online. He said the hand signal means “A-OK” and “three percent” — meaning the three percent of people “who are willing to stand up and put their lives on the line for this country if called upon.”
The website Know Your Meme runs down the bizarre trajectory of the “A-OK” symbol as figures linked to white nationalism emerged on the national stage.
Bergquam is a member of the Proud Boys, deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Nunes has yet to address the controversy, which blew up online in the past few days.