A tweet from the account of Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Friday used language that many observers say evokes the known Nazi hate symbol “1488.”
A post on the candidate’s official Twitter account used the numbers 14 and 88 in close proximity.
Kennedy has not responded to HuffPost’s request for comment or explained the post elsewhere as of Friday afternoon. It’s not clear whether he personally approved the tweet.
His post on Twitter (which recently rebranded as X) was trying to shame President Joe Biden into providing Secret Service protection for him. It said presidential candidates have been provided Secret Service protection “since the assassination of my father in 1968.”
He added: “But not me. Typical turnaround time for pro forma protection requests from presidential candidates is 14-days. After 88-days of no response and after several follow-ups by our campaign, the Biden Administration just denied our request.”
“1488” is a known white supremacist symbol, according to the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. The “14” in the symbol is shorthand for the “14 Words” slogan that is popular with racists around the world, while the “88” stands for “Heil Hitler,” since “H” is the eighth letter of the alphabet.
The Secret Service’s website states that it’s authorized to protect “major presidential and vice presidential candidates and their spouses within 120 days of a general presidential election.” The election is still more than a year away, which suggests Kennedy wouldn’t necessarily receive the protection at this point.
HuffPost has reached out to the Secret Service for comment.
Kennedy has come under fire for trafficking in antisemitic conspiracy theories. At a recent dinner, he falsely said the virus that causes COVID-19 may have been engineered, that it’s less harmful to “Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese” (also false), and that it’s “targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people” (false again). He also suggested that Holocaust victims had it easier than COVID sufferers.
Social media users were quick to notice the loaded language in his Friday tweet.