Donald Trump tweeted a blatantly anti-Semitic image Saturday morning, causing an immediate backlash online and further confirming the Republican nominee is willing to sink to depths well beyond usual, acceptable bounds of politics.
The tweet, posted at roughly 8:30 a.m., featured a picture of Hillary Clinton pasted over a backdrop of $100 bills with a six-pointed star — the Jewish Star of David — next to her face.
“Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” the star read.
This is not a dog whistle. It’s not subtle. It is anti-Semitic imagery aimed at a candidate who isn’t even Jewish.
Clinton’s campaign could not immediately be reached for comment.
Mic News reported that the image Trump used was previously shared on a website used by neo-Nazis and anti-Semites. The site said the image appeared on an entry posted around June 22, more than a week before Trump’s team tweeted it.
The irony, of course, is that Trump has Jewish relatives. His daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism when she married Jared Kushner, who is Jewish himself. Trump’s grandkids are Jewish too. Trump even has a number of Jewish backers.
This hasn’t exactly mellowed his instinct to give telling winks to people who hate Jews. Trump has retweeted support from white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the past and he’s notably refrained from condemning the anti-Semitic mob of his supporters that has attacked Jewish reporters online.
Usually, he’s responded to criticism in the past by playing dumb, as if he’s unaware of what he’s doing. And that same pattern held true — somewhat — on Saturday morning. Moments after tweeting out the Star of David image, he put out a second image with the same language, but with a red circle instead of a star. The first tweet remained up for some time, however, before eventually being taken down.
Ari Fleischer, a Jewish Republican who served as press secretary to former President George W. Bush, criticized the Trump campaign for the tweet.
“I suspect this was a case of stupidity and not malice, but no matter what, his campaign keeps making foolish mistakes,” he said. “It would be nice to make it through a 3-day weekend without his campaign hurting itself.”
As for Clinton’s faith, she’s a Methodist. Trump has attacked her for that in the past too. At a meeting of evangelical conservatives last month, he suggested there was little in the public record about her religion and that she might not actually be Christian: a blatantly false missive that was offensive in its own right but one that seems somewhat quaint in light of Saturday’s tweet.
Trump adviser Roger Stone sent an email to HuffPost several hours after this article was posted, with the subject line: Total Horseshit.
“A sheriff badge is the same shape as the Star of David,” Stone wrote. “You should be ashamed to publish crap like this – but then you don’t work for a real news organization.”
This piece has been updated with comments from Fleischer and Stone, and with information from Mic.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist