Donald Trump on Saturday deleted a tweet critical of Hillary Clinton after he came under fire for evoking anti-Semitic stereotypes with a graphic that included dollar bills and a six-pointed star.
But 10 days earlier, the same graphic appeared on an Internet message board loaded with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and neo-Nazi ideology.
The image was posted by an anonymous account on June 22 at 2:16 a.m. EDT in response to a post pointing to news reports that Russian hackers may have breached the Clinton Foundation’s computer systems.
Mic.com first reported that the image appeared on the website. CNN confirmed the report using the internet archiving site the Wayback Machine, which allows users to search archived content on websites from days, months and even years earlier.
The image is identical to the one posted on Trump’s Twitter account, except it does not include the graphic of a Fox News poll.
Just as in Trump’s original tweet, the graphic features a pile of $100 dollar bills and the words “most corrupt candidate ever” on top of a six-pointed star, which evokes the Jewish Star of David.
Before deleting the original tweet, Trump tweeted the same graphic with a tweak: a circle instead of the star.
The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment about the decision to use a six-pointed star and whether they were concerned about the potential for the imagery to evoke anti-Semitic undertones.
CNN reached out to the Trump campaign on Sunday to ask where the Trump campaign found the image and whether any of its staffers visit the alt-right message board.
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski dismissed the controversy in an interview with CNN’s Brianna Keilar on “State of the Union” Sunday.
“A tweet is a simple tweet, and the bottom line is you can read into things that are not there. You know, this is a simple star,” Lewandowski said.
He said it’s “the same star that sheriff’s departments all over the place” use for their badges.
“To read into something that isn’t there is — you know what, again, I think that’s the mainstream media trying to attack Donald Trump for something that isn’t there,” he said.