Was That A Nazi Salute? — & Other Controversial Moments From The RNC

Photo: The Washington Post/Getty Images.
House Speaker Paul Ryan delivered a message to America this week that many can get behind: "Everyone — everyone — is equal, everyone has a place."

"Let the other party go on and on with its constant dividing up of people, always playing one group against the other as if group identity were everything," the Wisconsin Republican said in his speech at the Republican National Convention this week. "In America, aren’t we all supposed to be and see beyond class, see beyond ethnicity or all these other lines drawn to set us apart and lock us into groups?"

Ryan, the highest-ranking Republican in the United States, wasn't the only member of the party preaching unity and a bigger, more welcoming GOP as Donald Trump clinched the nomination for president. The theme for Thursday — the final night of the convention — is "Make America One Again."

But there has been no shortage of anger and vitriol on display to contrast that theme. And some Trump supporters and campaign surrogates have made headlines this week for comments that seriously undermine that message. In fact, they've generated backlash for being sexist and racist. Here are some of those most-talked-about controversial moments.

Did Laura Ingraham end her speech with a Nazi salute?
Conservative commentator Laura Ingraham energized the crowd on Wednesday with her speech praising Trump and bashing Hillary Clinton and the media.

But it was the end of the address that caught the attention of Twitter. Viewers were quick to compare her parting gesture with a "Sieg Heil" Nazi salute.

Ingraham, a frequent tweeter herself, hasn't responded to the social media backlash online.
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Scott Baio defended his sexist tweets about Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama.
Former actor Scott Baio may claim that he wrote his RNC speech “in church” last Sunday morning, but MSNBC’s Tamron Hall pointed out in a televised interview that his social media presence is not very Jesus-like.

More than a week ago, Baio published a tweet that showed Hillary Clinton against a backdrop showing the word “count.” The problem? Clinton was in front of the letter “o.” Yes, you see where we’re going with this.

“I never called her anything,” Baio said, defending himself.

In the segment, Hall also brought up an instance of the former actor tweeting an unflattering picture of Michelle Obama that read, “Wow, he wakes up to this every morning!” Baio insisted that the picture had nothing to do with the first lady’s race, but rather with wives everywhere being angry at their husbands.
Rep. Steve King, asked what minorities have contributed to the world.
Rep. Steve King, R-IA, may have to crack open a history book or two after the convention ends.

During an MSNBC panel in Cleveland, Esquire’s Charles Pierce suggested the sea of faces at this convention was predominantly white, and the Iowa congressman was having none of it.

"This 'old white people' business does get a little tired, Charlie," King said. "I'd ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about? Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?"
Mmm…What about gunpowder? Surgery? Algebra? Someone ought to break it to him!

Antonio Sabato Jr. insisted President Obama is totally a Muslim.
Antonio Sabato Jr. spoke on behalf of Trump during his speech on Monday night. But that's not what made headlines.

"We had a Muslim president for seven and a half years," Sabato Jr. told ABC News. "I don't believe he is [a Christian]."

The actor insisted that the president, who has said he’s indeed a Christian, doesn’t have a “Christian name” and has “never talked about Jesus Christ, once.”

He continued, "I believe that he's on the other side."

When asked what the "other side" meant, he answered, “Oh, the Middle East. He's with the bad guys."

Rudy Giuliani blames Syrian refugees for security risk.
It’s time to make America “safe again,” according to Rudy Giuliani.

“The vast majority of Americans today do not feel safe,” he said during his speech on Monday. “They fear for their children, and they fear for themselves.”

The former mayor of New York City blames Syrian refugees for this.

Giuliani accused Clinton of favoring letting in Syrian refugees “even though the Islamic state has told us they are going to put their operatives in these groups so they can carry out terrorist acts against us and our allies.”

“They’ve told us that, and she still wants to take in these Syrians,” he said.

Clinton does support allowing people forced from their homes by Syria's long civil war to resettle here in the United States. Republicans have long sounded alarm over those plans, citing the country's very real problem with the Islamic State group. But Syrians represented just a tiny percentage of all refugees admitted to the United States last year — and the three-quarters of the 2.9 million Syrian refugees are women or children (not exactly your typical terrorist profile). The screening process takes at least two years.
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Trump’s advisor on veterans' issues, Al Baldasaro, said Hillary Clinton should be shot for treason.
A New Hampshire state representative, Baldasaro, believes Hillary Clinton should be punished with death.

When asked on the The Kuhner Report what he thought about Clinton and the deaths of four Americans at a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Baldasaro answered, “This whole thing disgusts me — Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.”

He added in the same interview that he thought Clinton was “a piece of garbage.”

The New Hampshire delegate doubled down on his comments when he was also contacted by The Daily Beast.

"Anyone that commits treason should be shot," he said. "I believe Hillary Clinton committed treason. She put people in danger. When people take confidential material off a server, you're sharing information with the enemy. That's treason."
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