Donald Trump's Star of David Hillary Clinton Meme Was Created by White Supremacists
Donald Trump tweeted a meme Saturday that used dog-whistle anti-Semitism to announce that his political rival, "Crooked Hillary," had "made history."
The meme Trump tweeted prominently featured the Star of David, a holy symbol of the Jewish religion that Nazis attempted to pervert by forcing Jews over the age of 6 to sew it onto their clothing during Hitler's reign.
Emblazoned onto the Star of David in Trump's meme are the words "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!"
The star lies atop a giant pile of money.
Mic discovered Sunday that Donald Trump's Twitter account wasn't the first place the meme appeared. The image was previously featured on 8chan's /pol/ — an Internet message board for the alt-right, a digital movement of neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and white supremacists newly emboldened by the success of Trump's rhetoric — as early as June 22, over a week before Trump's team tweeted it.
Though the thread where the meme was featured no longer exists, you can find it by searching the URL in Archive.is, a "time capsule of the internet" that saves unalterable text and graphic of webpages. Doing so allows you to see the thread on /pol/ as it originally existed.
Of note is the file name of the photo, HillHistory.jpg, potentially a nod to the Neo-Nazi code for "HH," or "Heil Hitler," which the alt-right is fond of hiding in plain sight.
The watermark on the lower-left corner of the image leads to a Twitter account that regularly tweets violent, racist memes commenting on the state of geopolitical politics.
Other examples of images tweeted by this account include anti-Semitic images of journalists, violent propaganda about Muslims and refugees and racist images of Clinton and black Democrats.
Following this report, the account from which the watermarked Star of David meme comes began deleting some of its more inflammatory images. The account itself no longer exists as of Sunday afternoon.
And here is that image of the Jewish journalist with the enlarged nose as it originally appeared on @FishBoneHead1's Twitter:
Dan Scavino, the Trump Campaign's social media director, issued a statement late Monday saying "the social media graphic used this weekend was not created by the campaign nor was it sourced from an anti-Semitic site. It was lifted from an anti-Hillary Twitter user where countless images appear."
But rather than laying this controversy to bed, Scavino's explanation for where the Trump team "lifted" the image begs further questioning. When Trump's team sources memes, images and other media from Twitter, the team has a longstanding pattern of always attributing the account from which they found it, no matter how big or small that account may be.
So faithfully has the Trump account adhered to this practice in the past that it once attributed an image to "WhiteGenocideTM," a user whose Twitter is rife with white nationalist slogans and neo-Nazi imagery.
Here are several other examples of Trump's image attribution practice in action.
For contrast, here, again, is the screenshot of the deleted Trump tweet containing the offending of image of Hillary and the Star of David.
In this particular instance, not only does the Trump account fail to attribute the @FishboneHead1 account — or mention any other Twitter account, for that matter — but whoever superimposed the "Fox News Poll" banner over the lower-left corner of the image completely obscured @FishboneHead1's watermark, thereby further obfuscating the origin of the image.
If, as Scavino claims, Trump's team really did find the controversial meme from Twitter — and not from /pol/, or another digital repository for racist, xenophobic and violent imagery like it — it is unclear why the Trump campaign would choose this particular instance not to attribute the account from which they found it, rupturing from their longstanding attribution practice just when the campaign would seem to need it most.
Mic previously reported white supremacists rally on the internet to track and expose what they believe to be a vast anti-white conspiracy, centuries old, in which Jews have paid off politicians and infiltrated the media to undermine Western society from the top down. The Clinton meme Trump tweeted — which previously appeared on perhaps the biggest bastion of the anti-Semitic alt-right — has brought that same hateful paranoia into the mainstream.
One relationship of particular importance to their "anti-White conspiracy" is that between Jewish reporters and Hillary Clinton, whom they believe to be working in tandem to undermine the Western world, preventing nations like the U.S. from becoming more like their vision of utopia — a nation with racial purity among its core values.
On Saturday, Trump deleted his original tweet of the meme and in its place uploaded an alteration that replaces the Star of David with a circle.
Scavino, who runs the Twitter for a presidential candidate who has called Mexicans drug dealers, criminals and rapists and who has repeatedly called for a ban on Muslims from entering the United States, said that he deleted the image because "as the Social Media Director for the campaign, [he] would never offend anyone."
As lawyer and writer William Hodges pointed out, at least two of the points of the original star are still visible from below the circle on the new image on Trump's twitter.
In November, Trump retweeted a meme perpetuating the racist lie that black people committed more violent crimes against white people than any other race. That image was found to have originated from a white supremacist's account as well.
Trump tweeted Monday denying that the star in the photo was a Star of David.
His claim that the star in the offending image is a Sheriff's Star echoes the statement from former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who argued the previous day on CNN, where Lewandowski now works, that "this is a simple star... the same star that sheriff's departments across the country use all over the place to represent law enforcement."
Though Trump's tweet on Monday explaining the star used almost the exact same wording as Lewandowski's statement on CNN Sunday, the two currently have no official professional relationship. The Trump campaign ousted Lewandowski as its campaign manager in June. He joined CNN as a political commentator just three days later.
Later on Monday, the Trump team released yet another denial of the offending image's anti-Semitism, this time arguing that Clinton's team is "trying to divert attention from the dishonest behavior of herself and her husband."
Hilary Clinton's campaign on Monday responded to the meme, calling it "a blatantly anti-Semetic image from racist websites," and adding that it's "part of a pattern that should give voters major cause for concern."
In March, Trump asked his supporters in Florida to raise their right hands and pledge their loyalty to him.
Its vile historical parallel to the Nazi rallies of World War II was as obvious as it was terrifying.
Mic has reached out to the Trump campaign to ask why it chose this instance to break routine by not crediting the offending Star of David image to the Twitter account from which they claim to have found it. Mic also inquired as to whether anyone on the campaign altered the image as it had previously appeared on both /pol/ and Twitter in order to obscure @FishboneHead1's watermark in the lower-left corner of the meme. We will update when we hear back.
July 5, 2016, 1:09 p.m.: This story has been updated.