This article was originally published on Jewish Insider
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Donald Trump defended his controversial “Star of David” tweet on Wednesday, insisting the “sick” media stirred it up to cover up for Hillary Clinton’s FBI interview on Saturday.
“It was a star. A star. Like, a star,” Trump said during a campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio on Wednesday. “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.”
In a lengthy rant, Trump blamed the media of “racially profiling.”
“Behind it, it had money. ‘Oh but there’s money behind it,’” Trump said, imitating what he said was a report on CNN. “So actually, they’re racially profiling. They’re profiling, not us, because why are they bringing this up?”
“To me it was just a star,” Trump continued. “But when I really looked at it, it looked like a sheriff star.”
The Trump campaign quickly replaced one of the presumptive candidate's tweets on Saturday, following an avalanche of criticism on social media that it was anti-Semitic and bigoted. The original image tweeted by the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's account was a montage of Hilary Clinton with a Star of David inscribed and a pile of money in the background. The tweet was soon deleted and reposted, this time with a circle in the star's place.
Trump remarks on Wednesday were the first addressing the issue publicaly. On Monday, two days after the original tweet, Trump tweeted a similar message, saying he had not meant the six-pointed star to refer to the Star of David.
"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!" Trump's tweet said.
Trump 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.’”
On Tuesday, ADL 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 said in an interview on “CNN Tonight” with Don Lemon. “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.’”
But according to the presumptive nominee, 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.”
Referring to CNN’s coverage of the controversy, Trump stated, “These people are sick, I am telling you. They are sick.”
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