To catch you up on what happened over the weekend: On Saturday, Donald Trump tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton’s face, a pile of money, a six-pointed star, and a caption about how “corrupt” Clinton allegedly is. Many observers immediately pointed out that there is a certain anti-Semitic flavor to the idea of using a six-pointed star (i.e. a Star of David) in the course of suggesting that a politician is influenced by sinister, wealthy puppetmasters. Trump, who has distributed white-supremacist imagery via his Twitter account several times already during his presidential campaign, then deleted the image and began arguing that the star used therein was merely a “sheriff’s star” that was appropriate because it connoted “criminals and criminal behavior.” Trump’s social media director, Dan Scavino Jr., made the same argument in a statement Monday night, noting additionally that the image was originally taken from “an anti-Hillary Twitter user.”
Here’s the problem with that explanation: Mic found that the Twitter user who seems to have originally posted the image, @fishbonehead1, had also posted a number of other disturbing neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic, and racist images. (The account appears to have been deleted.) Here’s one highlighted by journalist Sarah Kendzior:
Mic initially found the Hillary/Star of David image on an anti-Semitic message board, where it was watermarked with the “@fishbonehead1” account name in the manner in which creators often mark their work. The Internet Archive has a record of what seems to be @fishbonehead1 first posting the image on Twitter, with the watermark:
So, we have Trump’s campaign acknowledging that it took the image from a Twitter user and reposted it without attribution. (The watermark did not appear in Trump’s tweet.) We also have evidence of a neo-Nazi Twitter user posting the image under his/her own account name. And yet we’re also supposed to believe that the six-pointed star was an allusion to sheriffs rather than Jews. Nope!