A former head of the Office of Government Ethics was among those upset this week by pictures from Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s vacation — because a Confederate Flag can partly be seen in the background of one of the pictures.
Trump tweeted out the series of photographs of her family’s vacation in Florida, featuring Jared and his son posing with a catch from fishing.
To any kid, this fish is a trophy! 🐟 🎣 🏆 pic.twitter.com/wSpMZ0aFkQ
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) December 26, 2017
While the photos appear harmless enough, eagle-eyed Twitter watchers spotted that a boat in the deep background of one of the pictures was flying a Confederate flag.
While not unusual in parts of the South, and a feature almost entirely peripheral to the photograph that focused on Jared and his son’s catch, this sent some Twitter users into a fury — including Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics.
Confederate flag over Jared's shoulder. Couldn't find four photos without one? Or is this a dogwhistle?
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) December 26, 2017
Others picked up on Shaub’s claim that it was somehow a message to President Trump’s supporters.
Nice intentional shot of that confederate flag 😡
— Kate (@KateShrodes) December 27, 2017
nice signal to your core supporters #complicit
— janel (@meomy1905) December 28, 2017
— Kim H. (@meezergal) December 28, 2017
If the move was indeed a conspiracy from Ivanka and Jared to send a message to their core supporters, it would be a considerable about-turn from the couple — who are widely reported to represent the more liberal wing of the Trump White House, and have been labeled as part of the “West Wing Democrats” faction.
The New York Times reported in August that the couple were among those pushing President Trump to denounce neo-Nazis and white nationalists in Charleston, Virginia “more forcefully.”
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.