'Anti-Semitic' tweet lands Trump in trouble

The amended image tweeted by Mr Trump. The original was viewed as anti-Semitic as it used a Star of David instead of the circle.
The amended image tweeted by Mr Trump. The original was viewed as anti-Semitic as it used a Star of David instead of the circle.PHOTO: DONALD TRUMP'S TWITTER

WASHINGTON • Presumptive Republican US presidential nominee Donald Trump is struggling to move past his latest social media firestorm, facing a bipartisan scolding for tweeting a controversial image attacking Mrs Hillary Clinton that was widely viewed as anti-Semitic.

The controversy erupted last Saturday morning after a tweet from Mr Trump's account showed an image with Mrs Clinton's face next to a Star of David shape on top of a bed of money.

Inside the star were the words "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!"

The combination of the star with a background of money and an accusation of corruption, which suggests stereotypical views of Jews and money, feeds into conspiracy theories that Jews control political systems.

Less than two hours later, the tweet was deleted, and the image was posted again with a circle instead of the star.

On Monday, Mr Trump and his social media director, Mr Dan Sca- vino, said the image they used contained a "basic" or "sheriff's" star, and was available in the standard "shapes" available with Microsoft's Paint applications.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, said in a radio interview that anti-Semitic images have "no place in a presidential campaign" and added: "I don't know what flunkey put this up there."

Mr Trump's son-in-law and close campaign confidant Jared Kushner, who is Jewish, also faced blowback. An entertainment writer at the New York Observer posted an open letter to Mr Kushner online, urging him to rebuke the tweet.

Mr Kushner, who is married to Mr Trump's daughter Ivanka, is the publisher of the Observer.

Mrs Clinton, who condemned the tweet over the weekend, on Tuesday posted a video on Twitter of Mr Trump in a TV interview this year waffling over whether to distance himself from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke after the white supremacist declared his support for Mr Trump's White House bid. In interviews both before and after that interview, Mr Trump has denounced Mr Duke.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2016, with the headline ''Anti-Semitic' tweet lands Trump in trouble'. Print Edition | Subscribe