House Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Tuesday slammed a tweet posted to likely GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s account over the weekend that critics denounced as anti-Semitic, saying Mr. Trump’s social media team has to start cleaning up its act.
“Anti-semitic images — they’ve got no place in [a] presidential campaign,” Mr. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, said on WTMJ radio. “Candidates should know that.”
“The tweet’s been deleted,” Mr. Ryan said. “I don’t know what flunky put this up there — they obviously [have] got to fix that. We got to get back to the issues that matter to the public.”
The original tweet, posted Saturday, put an image of likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton next to a six-point star — which critics said evoked the Jewish Star of David — and the words “most corrupt candidate ever,” with a backdrop of money. The tweet was later deleted and replaced with a similar image, only with a circle instead of a star.
Dan Scavino, the Trump campaign’s social media director, said the post was taken from an “anti-Hillary Twitter user.”
“The sheriff’s badge — which is available under Microsoft’s ‘shapes’ — fit with the theme of corrupt Hillary and that is why I selected it,” he said. “As the social media director for the campaign, I would never offend anyone and therefore chose to remove the image.”
Mr. Ryan said the Trump campaign needs to clean up its act in this area. Mr. Ryan spoke out against Mr. Trump during the GOP primary contest for not sufficiently denouncing former Ku Klux Klan Leader David Duke in one interview.
“The point is I think he’s got to clean this up,” Mr. Ryan said. “My understanding is this is [what’s done] by staff — not by he himself. But more importantly, they’ve got to clean this thing up.”