Over the weekend, Donald Trump tweeted the following image of Hillary Clinton, a pile of money, and a Star of David:
The Trump campaign then recognized that the tweet was obviously anti-Semitic and promptly issued an apology.
Just kidding! The Trump campaign has spent the past 72 hours defending the tweet with an escalating series of bizarre explanations for why the image isn't offensive.
Here are seven of the best, in no particular order.
“The social media graphic used this weekend was not created by the campaign, nor was it sourced from an anti-Semitic site.” —Trump campaign social media director Dan Scavino Jr.
At first blush, this seems like a normal campaign response to an unfolding social media scandal. But as Mic discovered shortly after Trump's tweet, the image absolutely was sourced from an anti-Semitic website, which makes this answer a bit awkward.
"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!" —Donald J. Trump
As many in the "dishonest media" have already pointed out, a typical "sheriff's star" has balls at the points and says "sheriff" on it. A typical "sheriff's star" also doesn't usually appear in memes generated in dark corners of the internet frequented by white supremacists. A quick Google search of "plain star" results in a lot of five-pointed stars that do not in any way resemble a Star of David.
"But I can tell you this: Donald Trump has been a person going back 30 years that in his corporation he hired senior executives that are Jewish to be part of his organization. You look at his CFO, you look at his chief legal counsel. You look at all of those individuals." —Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski
Well, there you have it. Some of Trump's best
friends employees are Jewish!
"For the MSM to suggest that I am antisemite is AWFUL. I proudly celebrate holidays w/ my wife's amazing Jewish family for the past 16 years." —Scavino
This is a small step up from the traditional "some of my best friends are Jewish" line. But if you are that familiar with Jewish tradition and Judaica, it's hard to understand why you didn't notice the star of David that everyone else seems to have recognized.
“These memes float around the internet. Not every six-sided star is a Star of David. There is no intent here at all. We corrected this tweet and have moved on.” -Trump campaign adviser Ed Brookover
The Trump campaign did, in fact, correct the tweet, posting a large circle over the original image's Star of David. As some observers pointed out, the points of the original star are still visible behind the circle in the new image.
"These false attacks by Hillary Clinton trying to link the Star of David with a basic star, often used by sheriffs who deal with criminals and criminal behavior, showing an inscription that says “Crooked Hillary is the most corrupt candidate ever” with anti-Semitism is ridiculous." —Donald J. Trump
This one is just fun because the level of detail in the description reminds us that the meme, in addition to being anti-Semitic, was also juvenile and dumb.
“The sheriff’s badge – which is available under Microsoft’s ‘shapes’ - fit with the theme of corrupt Hillary and that is why I selected it.” —Scavino
This quote not only makes it seem as if the campaign's social media director created the image himself (which we have established he did not) but also suggests that a major party presidential campaign makes its graphics using Microsoft's "shapes," which is astounding in and of itself. (For what it's worth, several media outlets have looked into this claim and discovered that there is no "sheriff's badge" listed among the Microsoft shapes.)