Donald Trump's son-in-law on Wednesday insisted that his father-in-law is not racist or anti-Semitic, after fresh controversy engulfed the Republican White House hopeful, AFP reports.
Jared Kushner wrote an essay in The New York Observer, which he owns, in response to accusations that the controversial New York billionaire is a bigot.
"My father-in-law is not an anti-Semite. It's that simple, really. Donald Trump is not anti-Semitic and he's not a racist," wrote Kushner.
He described Trump as "an incredibly loving and tolerant person" whom he had personally seen "embrace people of all racial and religious backgrounds, at his companies and in his personal life."
Kushner further stressed that his father-in-law was "instinctively pro-Jewish and pro-Israel" and that it was wrong to blame him for outrages committed by his supporters.
He wrote movingly about a great uncle and aunt who were murdered by the Nazis, his grandmother who joined the resistance and his grandfather who survived the Holocaust by living in a hole in the woods.
"America faces serious challenges. A broken economy, terrorism, gaping trade deficits and an overall lack of confidence,” wrote Kushner.
"Intolerance should be added to that list. I'm confident that my father-in-law, with his outstanding record of real results, will be successful tackling these challenges. That's why I support him," he concluded.
Trump came under fire this week after his Twitter account featured a graphic calling his Democrat rival, Hillary Clinton, corrupt with what appeared to be a Star of David symbol superimposed on a pile of money.
The Clinton campaign said the image was blatantly anti-Semitic. Trump deleted the tweet and then replaced the star with a circle. He also rejected the criticism 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".