WASHINGTON (AP) _ Donald Trump’s tweet that featured Hillary Clinton and a six-pointed star atop a pile of money has also appeared on a white supremacist website.
Trump’s account on Saturday tweeted the so-called “meme” _ then deleted it and replaced it substituting a circle for the star symbol that resembles the Jewish Star of David. The change came after a social media uproar about the star tweet’s potentially anti-Semitic implications.
The meme first appears to have hit the Internet on June 15, when it was posted by the Twitter user (at)FishBoneHead1. The account, which described itself as belonging to a comedian, regularly tweeted out anti-Clinton and right-leaning messages and images.
The image also appeared on June 22, on /pol/, an active neo-Nazi Internet message board that features many anti-Semitic posts.
It remains unclear where Trump’s campaign obtained the image. A spokeswoman for the campaign did not immediately respond to questions about the original tweet or who was responsible for sending it out. Trump’s twitter account remained silent on the issue Sunday.
The (at)FishBoneHead1 account was deleted amid the uproar on Sunday afternoon. The person who operated the feed did not respond to a request for comment before it was deleted. The post itself was deleted from the /pol/ message board, but its existence was confirmed by The Associated Press through an internet search engine that combs internet archives.
The image’s appearance on /pol/ and (at)FishBoneHead1’s twitter feed was first reported by the website mic.com.
Trump, who is running for president as a Republican, has repeatedly said that he would remain a staunch defender of Israel and last week shot down a question from a town hall attendee who questioned the U.S.’s defense of the Jewish state. His daughter, Ivanka, converted to Judaism and is raising her children Jewish.
Trump has been criticized in the past for repeatedly re-tweeting posts from white supremacists’ accounts and failing to immediately denounce the support of former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke. Trump has a loyal following on white supremacist message boards and has been endorsed by several prominent white nationalist leaders who have credited him for invigorating their cause. Among them are William Johnson, chair of the American Freedom Party, which ran pro-Trump robo-calls during the GOP primary.
Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, dismissed the controversy in an interview with CNN Sunday, accusing the media of trying to create something out of nothing.