While many of America’s leaders sent messages of celebration and well wishes this 4th of July to people enjoying the holiday weekend, Donald Trump spent his morning embroiled in an argument over whether the meme he lifted from a right-wing neo-Nazi website featuring the Star of David photoshopped onto a pile of money was anti-Semitic.
Having already deleted the initial tweet, which had a picture of Hillary Clinton next to a Star of David placed over a pile of money and replaced it with one that covered the Jewish symbol with a less offensive circle, the Trump campaign’s latest defense appears to be that this was not a Star of David, it was a “sheriff’s badge.”
The theory was first proposed by Trump’s former campaign manager and now full-time CNN spin doctor Corey Lewandowski who is getting paid $500,000 to say things like this:
The bottom line is this is political correctness run amok. If this were to be a star next to Hillary Clinton without the cash behind it, no one would be questioning this.
Lewandowski then added that this was supposed to be a sheriff’s badge, not a Star of David, anyways.
Seriously. They are going with “sheriff’s badge.”
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 (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2016
For reference, here is the picture in question:
The premise that this was merely a harmless sheriff’s badge is ludicrous for several reasons. For starters, the meme was first created for an alt-right forum filled with neo-Nazis. The image was named “HillHistory”, an allusion to “HH”, neo-Nazi terminology which stands for “Heil Hitler.”
But perhaps even more obviously, the idea that this was meant to be a sheriff’s badge makes absolutely no sense. Why would it be a sheriff’s badge? What possible reason – given the context – would the creator of this meme have for using a badge? Isn’t it more likely that a neo-Nazi meme creator probably meant the Star of David?
The Trump campaign knows this, but once again they’ve shown zero qualms with stating outright lies rather than take responsibility for their conduct.
Sadly, this may top Trump’s previously Most Offensive July 4th Tweet, just beating out 2014’s classic.
Happy 4th of July to everyone, including the haters and losers!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2014
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images