Donald Trump’s ‘Star of David’ tweet appeared on a white supremacist site


Republican presidential candidate has shared another racist meme on twitter. Photo / AP

It was so close to the message that Republicans say they want from
Donald Trump: a tweet describing Hillary Clinton as “crooked” and the
“most corrupt candidate ever,” on the morning that the likely Democratic
presidential nominee met with the FBI.
But the image that Trump
chose to illustrate his point, which portrayed a red Star of David
slapped onto a bed of $100 bills, had origins in the online
white-supremacist movement. For at least the fifth time, Trump’s Twitter
account had shared a meme from the racist “alt-right” and offered no
explanation why.
“We’ve been alarmed that Mr. Trump hasn’t spoken
out vociferously against these anti-Semites and racists and misogynists
who continue to support him,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive
of the Anti-Defamation League. “It’s been outrageous to see him
retweeting and now sourcing material from the website and other online
resources from this crowd.”

The offending image first appeared in a June 15 tweet by
@FishBoneHead1, an account with fewer than 1,000 followers and a
penchant for memes that mock Muslims, black Democrats and “cucks” – an
alt-right term derived from the word “cuckold,” for people they deem
insufficiently conservative. According to Anthony Smith, a reporter for
the site Mic, it was shared June 22 on a racist section of the
8Chan Web forum.
Trump’s official Twitter account shared the
image, with no hint of the origin, at 9:37 a.m. Saturday. It came under
fire immediately, with Trump critics like the conservative pundit Erick
Erickson accusing him of “play[ing] to the white supremacists.” By 11:19
a.m., the tweet had been deleted, and the image was uploaded again with
the star switched out for a circle.
That was more than enough
time for critics and supporters to ask what exactly Trump was doing. On
white-supremacist forums, Trump was cheered for apparently declaring his
solidarity through not-so-subtle code.

“The evangelicals will listen to his pro-Israel
statements, while we will listen to his signals,” wrote Andrew Anglin in
the Daily Stormer, a racist site named after Julius Streicher’s
notorious Nazi tabloid. “By pushing this into the media, the Jews bring
to the public the fact that yes, the majority of Hilary’s [sic] donors
are filthy Jew terrorists.”
When asked about his support from
white supremacists, Trump has typically – if belatedly, and under media
pressure – renounced it and then criticized the media for not giving him
more credit for the renunciation.
“I rejected them so strongly
and so harshly, and then people say he didn’t reject them fast enough,”
Trump told the conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt last month. “Between
Facebook and Twitter, we have over 20 million people. I rejected them on
Trump’s campaign did not answer questions about the
image, the decision to delete it or the decision to promote a new
version. The Republican Jewish Coalition also did not respond to a
request for comment.
On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Corey
Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager who is now a paid political
analyst, blamed the controversy on “political correctness run amock”
and members of the #NeverTrump movement who wanted to hurt the
“This is a simple star,” Lewandowski said. “It’s the
same star that sheriff’s departments across the country use, all over
the place, to represent law enforcement.”
But the skepticism of
Trump critics was rooted in months of similar blunders. In November
2015, he tweeted a chart of bogus crime data from the fictional “Crime
Statistics Bureau,” which wildly overstated how many white people were
killed by black people.
Charles Johnson, proprietor of the blog
Little Green Footballs, traced the image to a Twitter user whose
biographic information suggested that “we should have listened to the
Austrian chap with the little moustache,” a reference to Adolf Hitler.
January, Trump retweeted a meme of a destitute-looking former GOP
presidential candidate Jeb Bush and a comment in February about his
rallies from @WhiteGenocideTM, an account that lists its location as
“Jewmerica.” In April, he retweeted a compliment from an
innocuous-looking follower named Jason Bergkamp; a reporter from Fusion
quickly discovered that Bergkamp had also praised Hitler.

“Trump support in the white-supremacist world is
unprecedented,” said Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty
Law Center. “The typical white-supremacist opinion of politicians is ‘a
pox on both their houses.’ No one deserves their trust. But in Trump,
they’ve found a champion.”
On the campaign trail, Trump has
repeatedly paid tribute to Israel and proudly noted that his daughter
Ivanka is a convert to Judaism. But the ADL’s Greenblatt, disturbed by
the pattern of anti-Semitic support for Trump, wanted to hear more.
like to see Donald Trump reject these people with clarity and
precision, the same way he rejected the other Republican candidates and
the way that he has rejected folks on the Democratic side,” Greenblatt
said Sunday.
“On the day after the passing of Elie Wiesel,
arguably one of the most important moral figures of the 20th century,
there is a chance for him to speak with similar clarity about what is in
bounds and out of bounds. And the time is now.”
Later Sunday
afternoon, Trump responded to Wiesel’s death. “On Saturday a great man,
Elie Wiesel, passed away,” he tweeted. “The world is a better place
because of him and his belief that good can triumph over evil!”

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