Trump: Charges of anti-Semitism over tweet are 'ridiculous'

2016-07-05 12:27
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump. (Joe Raedle & Spencer Platt, AFP)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump. (Joe Raedle & Spencer Platt, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington – Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton's campaign is "ridiculous" to portray an anti-Clinton tweet that appeared to depict the Star of David atop a pile of cash, as anti-Semitic.

In a statement issued by his Republican presidential campaign Monday evening, Trump suggested Clinton and her allies were using the matter to distract from her own recent campaign troubles.

Trump said the tweet portrayed "a basic star, often used by sheriffs who deal with criminals and criminal behaviour," as part of an effort to convey that "Crooked Hillary is the most corrupt candidate ever."

It was the presumptive GOP nominee's most extensive comment since his official account tweeted – then deleted – the image Saturday, sparking an uproar over its potentially anti-Semitic connotations. Trump's account later posted a new version with a circle in place of the six-point star.

Addressing the origins of the tweet for the first time, Trump campaign social media director Dan Scavino said in a statement posted on Trump's Facebook page Monday evening that he had lifted it from an anti-Clinton Twitter feed and had never intended to offend anyone.

"The social media graphic used this weekend was not created by the campaign nor was it sourced from an anti-Semitic site. It was lifted from an anti-Hillary Twitter user where countless images appear," he wrote.

He said that the star, which he described as a sheriff's badge "fit with the theme of corrupt Hillary and that is why I selected it."

"As the social media director for the campaign, I would never offend anyone and therefore chose to remove the image," he added.

The image had previously appeared on a white supremacist message board filled with anti-Semitic messages as well as the Twitter feed of a self-identified comedian who tweeted provocative and offensive images.

Absurd and offensive

Trump's campaign had not responded to questions since Saturday about who posted the message and where it was found.

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said Trump's attempt to dismiss the concerns of people who have taken issue with the post "falls somewhere between absurd and offensive."

"It's not a left-wing issue or a right-wing issue," he said. "It's not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. It's a matter of common sense."

Greenblatt said: "It would be appropriate and timely for the presumptive GOP nominee for the White House to say unequivocally, 'I want nothing to do with these ideas,' and to say 'hate has no place in making America great again'."

Earlier on Monday, Sarah Bard, director of Jewish outreach for Clinton's Democratic presidential campaign, said in a statement that "Trump's use of a blatantly anti-Semitic image from racist websites to promote his campaign" was part of a pattern by him.

"Now, not only won't he apologise for it, he's peddling lies and blaming others," she added. "Trump should be condemning hate, not offering more campaign behaviour and rhetoric that engages extremists."

In his statement, Trump accused Clinton's campaign of using the tweet to try to "divert attention from the dishonest behaviour of herself and her husband."

He cited her "missing emails" and Bill Clinton's impromptu meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch as her agency oversees the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state.

Trump has long professed his support for Israel and his daughter converted to Judaism before her marriage. But he has come under scrutiny for repeatedly retweeting posts from white supremacists' accounts and for not immediately renouncing the support of former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  hillary clinton  |  us  |  us 2016 elections

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.