NEW YORK (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted an image of rival Hillary Clinton alongside hundred-dollar bills and a Jewish star bearing the words “most corrupt candidate ever!”, prompting outrage and bafflement on social media.
Two hours after his initial tweet, Trump tweeted a similar image in which the six-pointed Star of David - which appears on Israel’s flag and which Jews were forced to wear on their clothing by the Nazis during the Holocaust - was replaced by a circle. The original tweet was deleted.
Critics said the image featuring the star harkened back to centuries-old anti-Semitic stereotypes, such as the belief that Jews are greedy.
“Just saw #DonaldTrump’s Star of David tweet. I’m impressed by his ability to find a way to insult literally every kind of human being,” screenwriter Cole Haddon wrote on Twitter.
“A Star of David, a pile of cash, and suggestions of corruption. Donald Trump again plays to the white supremacists,” wrote Erick Erickson, a conservative radio host who has been critical of Trump.
The tweets originated from Trump’s account, @realDonaldTrump, and no other users were mentioned in them. It was not clear whether someone inside Trump’s campaign made the image or whether he found it somewhere else. Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Trump, did not respond to a request for comment.
The presumptive Republican nominee has been trying to assuage fears within his own party that he is alienating potential voters with offensive statements about Muslims, Latinos and women. Last month, Trump fired his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and began delivering speeches using a teleprompter, an abrupt change in style that was seen as an attempt to appear more presidential ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
Saturday’s tweet was a reminder of the unrestrained side of Trump. The candidate has mocked a disabled newspaper reporter, referred to undocumented immigrants from Mexico as “rapists” and recently pointed to a black man in the crowd at one of his rallies and called him “my African-American.”
Reporting by Emily Flitter; Editing by Mary Milliken and James Dalgleish