Donald Trump defended his anti-Semitic graphic lifted from a white supremacist’s Twitter account by tweeting out another image that originated on a white supremacist’s Twitter account.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee shared a meme accusing his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, of being “the most corrupt candidate ever” — using a graphic showing a Star of David and dollar bills.
Trump’s campaign deleted the tweet and swapped it for another without the Jewish symbol, and his staff claimed the original image came from an “anti-Hillary Twitter user.”
However, Mic reported that the image — originally titled HillHistory.jpg — came from an anti-Semitic 8Chan forum, was shared by an anti-Semitic Twitter user and includes a reference to “Heil Hitler” in its file name.
Trump defended the image Wednesday during a campaign rally in the Cincinnati suburbs, saying he wished it hadn’t been deleted.
After the event, Trump tweeted out another meme attacking the “dishonest” media for not also criticizing a Disney children’s book showing a Star of David and the characters from “Frozen.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2016
That image probably didn’t attract much attention because it didn’t also include a reference to money, which anti-Semites do to sow mistrust of Jews. “The intent was different and the outcome was certainly different,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. “Connecting the Star of David to money and politicians is intended to invoke anti-Semitic stereotypes.” However, that image was first shared by an anti-Semitic social media user.
— Pizza Party Bantz (@PizzaPartyBen) July 6, 2016
Those two tweets aren’t even the first time that Trump or his campaign have been accused of spreading viral content sourced from white supremacist social media accounts.
Trump has retweeted content from the @WhiteGenocideTM account more than once, and his campaign staffers follow some of the most influential white supremacist Twitter accounts.
The GOP candidate claims he’s not a racist or anti-Semitic, but white supremacists have been drawn to his campaign and emboldened by its success.
If Trump were an introspective man, his self-reflection might paraphrase a certain classic Onion headline: “Why do all these white supremacists keep saying things I agree with?”