'I'm a refugee' says man who took Donald Trump Jr Skittles picture
Published 21/09/2016 | 09:07
Donald Trump Jr's tweet comparing refugees to a bowl of poisoned Skittles has caused much debate and outrage online - but it has been revealed the photograph he used was taken by someone who claims to be a refugee.
David Kittos, 48, from Guildford, England, uploaded the photograph to Flickr back in 2010 and woke up to find it had been used in the inflammatory tweet.
He told the BBC: "This was not done with my permission, I don't support his politics and I would never take his money to use it.
"In 1974, when I was six-years old, I was a refugee from the Turkish occupation of Cyprus so I would never approve the use of this image against refugees."
Mr Kittos was unaware his photograph had sparked a political debate, as he does not use Twitter.
His friends alerted him to the fact his picture had been used, and he has emphasised he did not give permission for its use.
Mr Kittos is a keen photographer and told the BBC: "I was just experimenting with something called off-camera flash.
"This was six years ago when there were no Syrian refugees at the time and it was never done with the intention of spreading a political message.
"I have never put this image up for sale. This was not done with my permission, I don't support Trump's politics and I would never take his money to use it."
He also said he wants the image taken down but that the Trump campaign is "probably not interested" in what he has to say.
Mr Kittos told the BBC: "I was thinking about getting lawyers involved but I don't know if I have the patience.
"This isn't about the money for me. They could have just bought a cheap image from a micro stock library. This is pure greed from them. I don't think they care about my feelings. They should not be stealing an image full stop."
On Monday, Mr Trump Jr posted on Twitter a graphic reading:"If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That's our Syrian refugee problem."
The graphic, which showed a bowl of the sweets and an official Trump logo, that the candidate shares with his running mate, Mike Pence, was accompanied by the comment: “This image says it all. Let’s end the politically correct agenda that doesn’t put America first. #trump2016.″
The post borrows from Joe Walsh, a conservative talk radio host and politician, who in 2011 challenged Barack Obama to secure the borders with "moats and alligators", if necessary.