Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday once again defended his controversial “Star of David” tweet, The Jewish Insider reported.
Speaking at a rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, Trump insisted that the “sick” media stirred up the tweet to cover up for Hillary Clinton’s FBI interview on Saturday.
“It was a star. A star. Like, a star,” Trump said, according to The Jewish Insider. “It’s a star! Have you all seen this? It’s a star. My boy comes home from school, Baron, he draws stars all over the place, I never said, ‘Oh, that’s the Star of David, Baron, don’t!’ And it actually looks like a sheriff’s star, but I don’t know.”
“To me it was just a star,” Trump continued. “But when I really looked at it, it looked like a sheriff star.”
He said that his campaign should not have deleted the star meme in the first place because it’s “just a star” and those who think otherwise are “sick people.”
“I would have rather defended it, just leave it up, and say, ‘No, that’s not a Star of David. That’s just a star!” he asserted.
He went on to defend his social media director, Dan Scavino, and pointed to his daughter Ivanka, son-in-law Jared Kushner and their three children to prove he’s not anti-Jewish.
“Dan is a really wonderful guy. I didn’t get angry at him,” he said. “I said, ‘Dan, that’s a star! Don’t worry about it.’”
The Clinton campaign said the image on the controversial tweet was blatantly anti-Semitic. Trump deleted the tweet and then replaced the star with a circle. He also rejected the criticism earlier this week and noted that he had not meant the six-pointed star to refer to the Star of David. Rather, he explained, the star could have referred to a sheriff's badge, which is shaped similarly except for small circles at the ends of each of its six points, or a "plain star."
House Speaker Paul Ryan also criticized the graphic, saying it was anti-Semitic, and called upon the Trump campaign to clean up its social media campaign.
“Look, anti-Semitic images, they’ve got no place in a presidential campaign,” Ryan said during a radio interview and added, “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".
On Tuesday, noted The Jewish Insider, ADL’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt urged Trump to apologize and acknowledge that the perceived offense – tweeting a meme that was created by an anti-Semitic Twitter user – caused harm.
“He should just admit the offense [and] apologize,” Greenblatt was quoted as having said in an interview on CNN . “I think this would satisfy all of the public – on the right and the left, Democrats and Republicans. Just say, ‘White supremacists, extreme right, you have no place in my campaign. Hate has no place in the public square, and you have nothing to do with making America great again.’”