Donald Trump is blaming the press for the fuss over an anti-Hillary Clinton tweet that appeared to depict the Star of David atop a pile of cash.
It was his first response to the matter since his official account tweeted— then deleted — the image Saturday in the face of 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.
“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!” Trump tweeted Monday.
It remains unclear where the campaign found the image, but it 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 out provocative and offensive images.
Trump’s campaign has not responded to questions since Saturday about who posted the message and where it was found.
Sarah Bard, Clinton’s director of Jewish outreach, said in a statement Monday that “Trump’s use of a blatantly anti-Semitic image from racist websites to promote his campaign” was part of a pattern. “Now, not only won’t he apologize 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.”
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 re-tweeting posts from white supremacists’ accounts and for not immediately renouncing the support of former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke.