It appears that, in example after example, Donald Trump likes being liked by neo-Nazis.
Over the weekend Trump once again tweeted a white supremacist dog whistle, something he’s done several times throughout his presidential campaign. This time it was an image of Hillary Clinton looking proud, over a background of a pile of money, with a Star of David next to her with the words: “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!”
The not-so-subtle imagery feeds directly into the common anti-Semitic belief that Jews are corrupt money-grubbers who secretly control the government.
The original tweet was deleted two hours after being posted, but it was then tweeted again by Trump with a new image that replaced the star with a circle (though the points of the star could still be seen behind it).
These images were among those found on the same source Trump used to retweet.
The Trump campaign has said the star was meant to be a sheriff’s symbol. Former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, now a CNN political analyst, called the backlash “political correctness run amok,” saying it’s “the mainstream media trying to attack Donald Trump.” Trump himself parroted the man he recently fired, tweeting: “Dishonest media is trying their absolute best to depict a star in a tweet as the Star of David rather than a Sheriff’s Star, or plain star!”
But despite the amount of spin and shifting the blame to the media, it turns out the image was obtained from aneo-Nazi, white supremacist website and has appeared on a Twitter account that regularly posts racist, nationalist and anti-Semitic messages.
“It’s not that easy to find these materials,” Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center told NBC News. “It’s just astounding that, time after time after time, somebody there in the campaign, somehow, is running across this material.A one-off would be one thing, but it’s happened repeatedly now.”
Since launching his campaign last summer, Trump has retweeted posts from users such as “WhiteGenocideTM” and another white supremacist who writes about “white nationalism and genocide” and from whom Trump has retweeted praise at least six times in the past year. Last November, Trump also retweeted an image that depicted fake FBI murder statistics that showed Black people were killing white people in overwhelming numbers, which is factually incorrect.
“Donald Trump’s use of a blatantly anti-Semitic image from racist websites to promote his campaign would be disturbing enough, but the fact that it’s a part of a pattern should give voters major cause for concern,” said a statement from the Clinton campaign. “Now, not only won’t he apologize for it, he’s peddling lies and blaming others. Trump should be condemning hate, not offering more campaign behavior and rhetoric that engages extremists.”
In Trump’s second Clinton tweet with a circle covering the Star of David, Trump used the hashtag #AmericaFirst, which the Anti-Defamation League has repeatedly told Trump to stop using since it is the name of an anti-Semitic organization from World War II that urged the United States to appease Hitler.
Beyond tweets seeking to attract and appeal to white supremacists, Trump has not shied away from their support. Earlier this year, Trump refused to denounceformer Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke and otherwhite supremacistgroupswho were ferventlysupporting his campaign.