Donald Trump had to tweet about stars without stripes this Independence Day as the controversy continued over a deleted tweet from Saturday with what many believed was an anti-Semitic use of the Star of David.
Trump tweeted Monday that it was really a sheriff’s star superimposed on a pile of money to illustrate a fake magazine cover declaring Hillary Clinton the “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” And it was the “dishonest media” yet again that stirred up the controversy.
Dishonest media is trying their absolute best to depict a star in a tweet as the Star of David rather than a Sheriff’s Star, or plain star!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2016
The Verge reported the original tweet was posted on Trump’s Twitter account at 9:37 a.m. ET, and stayed up for more than two hours before it was deleted. Trump later posted a similar tweet with a circle instead of a star.
The meme was traced back to a right-leaning comedian’s Twitter account and an active neo-Nazi Internet message board, where the image has since been deleted. Unlike many of Trump’s controversial earlier tweets, however, Saturday’s post wasn’t a retweet.
Sarah Bard, director of Jewish outreach for Clinton’s campaign, issued a statement Monday saying Trump’s use of a “blatantly anti-Semitic image from racist websites” is part of a pattern that “should give voters major cause for concern.”
“Now, not only won’t he apologize for it, he’s peddling lies and blaming others,” said Bard. “Trump should be condemning hate, not offering more campaign behavior and rhetoric that engages extremists.”
Trump replied Monday evening with a statement of his own, calling the accusations “ridiculous.” Clinton, he said, “is just trying to divert attention from the dishonest behavior of herself and her husband.”