The Slatest

Trump Blames “Dishonest Media” for Sparking Controversy Over “Sheriff’s Star”

The image posted on Saturday and later deleted from Donald Trump’s Twitter account that the presumptive GOP nominee for president says depicts a “sheriff’s star” or a “plain star.”

Screenshot/Twitter

Donald Trump knows just who to blame for the weekend controversy over an image he tweeted that first appeared in a racist and sexist Twitter account and was later reproduced in a white supremacist message board: the “dishonest media,” of course. Trump finally broke his silence about the image on Monday, writing on Twitter: “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!”

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Trump’s tweet echoes the statements of his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who said on CNN on Sunday that the controversy amounted to “political correctness run amok.” Lewandowski said that the original image, which was later deleted, was nothing but “a simple star.”

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Trump’s campaign picked up and ran with an amended version of Lewandowski’s talking point on Monday morning, saying people were reading too much into the star. “There’s no anti-Semitism in Mr. Trump’s body, not one ounce, not one cell,” Trump campaign adviser Ed Brookover told CNN on Monday. “Not every six-sided star is a Star of David.”

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Jonathan Greenblatt, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, thinks these kinds of things have happened a bit too frequently to be coincidental. “The first time something like this happens, like the quote from Mussolini, it’s called a mistake. The second time it happens, like you re-tweet from a white supremacist Twitter account, that’s sloppy. But we’re now at the sixth or seventh time the Trump campaign has invoked bigotry or racism,” Greenblatt said. “It’s a pattern that’s perplexing, troubling and wrong.”

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Hillary Clinton has yet to comment on the tweet, but her campaign’s director of Jewish outreach issued a statement calling it “disturbing” and saying voters should be concerned. “Not only won’t he apologize for it, he’s peddling lies and blaming others,” Sarah Bard said. “Trump should be condemning hate, not offering more campaign behavior and rhetoric that engages extremists. The president should be someone who brings Americans together, not someone who sends signals and offers policies of division.”

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One group that did celebrate Trump’s tweets? White supremacists. The Washington Post points out that on white supremacist forums “Trump was cheered for apparently declaring his solidarity through not-so-subtle code.”

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