In what continues to be an incredibly puzzling campaign, Dr. Mehmet Oz attended a $5,000-a-plate fundraiser hosted by sex pest Matt Gaetz’s in-laws on Thursday night at the Lyon Air Museum and stood in front of one of Adolf Hitler’s cars, which made it into the background of attendees’ photos.
The museum is full of WWII memorabilia, and yes, it is just a museum. But a campaign allowing their candidate to be photographed at a fundraiser with a car that literally has a swastika on it is quite a choice.
Photos from the event, of course, surfaced on social media, and Twitter user Larry Tenney shared a screenshot from Instagram stories showing Oz standing on a small podium next to a TV monitor showing the logo for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and a hashtag #TheOzShow. Jezebel confirmed the image as coming from the account of Shane Mitchell, who attended the event. Behind Oz is a dark colored wagon that matches photos on the museum’s website of a 1939 Mercedes-Benz Model G4 Offener Touring Wagon. The museum’s own website says:
“This particular G4, 440875, was originally delivered to Adolph Hitler in late 1939 and was used by the Fuhrer in Ober Salzberg, Berlin and Poland until seized by the French Army at Berchtesgaden.”
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The red plaque with a swastika is not visible in the photo of Oz.
We have several theories about how and why this happened. One, Oz’s team is extremely bad at their jobs. Two, they hate their boss. Three, this was an intentional wink to the fascist elements of the Republican party.
The chair of the event, Palmer Luckey, is Gaetz’s brother-in-law and the billionaire founder of Oculus VR. Luckey is a Donald Trump supporter and, in 2017, he was photographed with Steve Bannon and white supremacist Chuck C. Johnson, with both Johnson and Luckey flashing a white power gesture. Luckey claimed on Twitter that the gesture being a hate symbol was “fake news” and that people do it to “playfully mimic Trump.”
Potentially not unrelated to his politics, Luckey is also the head of a military technology company called Anduril that makes surveillance equipment used on the US border and is now making drones. The company has multiple contracts with the Department of Defense and Gaetz, meanwhile, sits on the House Armed Services Committee.
Mitchell’s Instagram stories also showed that cancel culture warrior and incel king Jordan Peterson appeared at the event by video.
The event also featured NRSC Chairman Sen. Rick Scott of Florida and Nevada Senate nominee Adam Laxalt.
Truly the fundraiser from hell. I reached out to Oz’s campaign, and they have not returned my request for comment.