News US Election 2016

Tuesday 20 March 2018

'Anti-Semitic' Clinton slur backfires on Donald Trump

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

David Lawler

Donald Trump is facing accusations of "dog whistle" anti-Semitism after he posted an image of Hillary Clinton next to a six-pointed star and set against a backdrop of dollar bills.

The image was posted to Twitter, and included a Star of David shape emblazoned with the words: "Most corrupt candidate ever!"

The post prompted an immediate backlash, because such images often appear in anti-Jewish messages.

Indeed, the image did not originate with Mr Trump but circulated first in an online forum for neo-Nazis and white supremacists, according to Mic, a news website.

Mr Trump deleted the tweet, replacing the six-pointed star in a subsequent version with a circle.

Corey Lewandowski, Mr Trump's loyal surrogate and former campaign manager, denied that the original image was in any way offensive.

Read more: Donald Trump fires campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in dramatic shake-up

"This is the same star that sheriff's departments all across the country use all over the place to represent law enforcement," he said yesterday, bemoaning what he called an attempt to "attack Donald Trump for something that really isn't there".

Erick Erickson, an influential conservative blogger and radio host, took a different view. "A Star of David, a pile of cash, and suggestions of corruption. Donald Trump again plays to the white supremacists," he said.

This is not the first time Mr Trump has been linked to white supremacists. In February, he declined to disavow the support of David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, before doing so in later interviews. He has re-tweeted multiple white supremacists, and accidentally selected a prominent white nationalist to represent his campaign as a delegate in California.

Mr Trump has been staunchly pro-Israel throughout the campaign, and frequently cites the fact that his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is Jewish.

Mr Trump did not address the controversy over the tweet directly, instead deflecting attention on to reports that Ms Clinton will not face charges for putting America's secrets at risk while secretary of state.

Read more: Donald Trump: 'Hillary Clinton may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency'

She was interviewed by the FBI for more than three hours on Saturday over her unorthodox use of a private email server in her time in the role. The Clinton campaign said the interview was voluntary, and that she looks forward to putting the issue behind her.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump's daughter Ivanka claims he is a feminist who has "lived" gender equality.

She said the Republican hopeful had "employed women at the highest levels" of his businesses. Her 70-year-old billionaire father has consistently polled badly with women in the US in the recent months of the campaign for November's election.

Irish Independent

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