Today, Speaker Paul Ryan denounced a tweet from Donald Trump that criticized Hillary Clinton with the image of a red Star of David against a backdrop of $100 bills, a tableau with origins in the online white supremacist movement.
“Anti-Semitic images, they’ve got no place in a presidential campaign,” Ryan, R-Wis., said in an interview with WTMJ, a Wisconsin radio station. “Candidates should know that. The tweet’s been deleted. I don’t know what flunky put this up there. They’ve obviously got to fix that.”
Trump’s tweet drew condemnation over the weekend from the Anti-Defamation League, which described it as part of a troubling pattern.
“We’ve been alarmed that Mr. Trump hasn’t spoken out vociferously against these anti-Semites and racists and misogynists who continue to support him,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s chief executive. “It’s been outrageous to see him retweeting and now sourcing material from the website and other online resources from this crowd.”
Ryan urged Trump to “clean up the way his new media works.”
“I’ve made this really, really clear,” Ryan said. “The point is, I think he’s got to clean this up. My understanding is this is done by staff, not by he himself. But more importantly, they’ve got to clean this thing up.”
Trump, for his part, deleted the tweet but suggested critics were misinterpreting the imagery:
“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!,” according to his Twitter asccount.
After Clinton released a statement calling the image “blatantly anti-Semitic,” Trump called the conclusion “ridiculous.”
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Elise Viebeck