You might think Donald Trump would want to put his controversial Tweet using a Star of David in the rear view mirror as fast as possible.
Instead, he is keeping the story alive by pointing to a Disney sticker book with a similar six-sided star as evidence that his Tweeet of an anti-Hillary Clinton meme created by a neo-Nazi site wasn’t really anti-Semitic at all.
“Where is the outrage for this Disney book?” he wrote on Twitter. “Is this the ‘Star of David’ also? Dishonest media!”
Then he added the hashtag: #Frozen.
The latest firestorm surrounding the controversial presidential candidate started when Mic News reported that an image Trump had previously used to attack Hillary Clinton — which included the words: “History made” and, inside a six-point star, “most corrupt candidate ever!” — had been shared on a neo-Nazi web forum called /pol/.
The Tweet was deleted from Trump’s Twitter feed two hours after it was posted, as prominent politicians and media figures denounced the imagery as evoking anti-Semitic tropes. But later, Trump backtracked on this decision, too.
On Wednesday he defended the use of the star in a campaign speech.
“ ‘You shouldn’t have taken it down,’ ”Trump recalled telling a campaign worker. “I said, ‘Too bad, you should have left it up.’ I would have rather defended it.”
“That’s just a star,” he said.
After posting the Frozen image, Hillary quipped on Twitter: “Do you want to build a straw man?”
Trump has repeatedly insisted that he is not anti-Semitic. He regularly points out that his daughter is a Jewish convert and that he has many Jewish supporters.
Yet others say Trump has done little to quell a tide of anti-Semitism among his supporters. He was initially hesitant to disavow Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Many Jewish journalists have also come under fire from Trump supporters online.
The Anti-Defamation League recently called on Trump to denounce the anti-Semitisim that seems to be swirling around the candidate.
“It’s long past time for Trump to unequivocally reject the hate-filled extremists orbiting around his campaign,” Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL said, “and take a stand against anti-Semitism, bigotry, and hate.”
Email Sam Kestenbaum at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twtter at @skestenbaum
Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum.