POLITICS

GOP Leaders Totally Ignored Trump's Anti-Semitic Clinton Tweet

They had time to tweet about taxes and July Fourth, though.

05/07/2016 5:33 AM AEST | Updated July 6, 2016 02:30
Evan Vucci/Associated Press
House Speaker Paul Ryan has remained quiet on Donald Trump's tweet.

This weekend, Republican leaders had time to tweet about Independence Day, tax policy and Elie Wiesel's death, but not to comment on Donald Trump's use of an anti-Semitic image.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee on Saturday tweeted an anti-Hillary Clinton picture that originated on a white supremacist website.

The image, which Trump later took down, showed the Democratic presidential candidate's face next to a Star of David that read "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!" The Anti-Defamation League denounced the tweet, and Clinton called it "blatantly anti-Semitic." The former secretary of state's criticism was echoed by hordes of Twitter users.

The most powerful Republicans in the U.S. stayed silent, though.

Instead, House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.) and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (La.) tweeted about their tax reform plan.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) released a statement on the death of Wiesel, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning author who survived Auschwitz. Wiesel died on Saturday, the same day Trump published the Star of David tweet. During the Holocaust, Nazis forced Jewish people to wear Star of David badges to identify themselves.

McConnell's statement read:

"We knew Elie Wiesel as a survivor, an advocate, and an award-winning author. Though he saw the worst of humanity, he also showed us the enduring power of the human spirit. The mark he left on our world will continue to be felt for years to come."

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus paid tribute to Wiesel, too.

Priebus also tweeted about Clinton's meeting with the FBI over her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. 

All four of them wished Americans a happy July Fourth. 

Representatives for Ryan, McConnell and Scalise didn't return requests for comment. RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer didn't  respond, either, but he did tweet about dry shampoo:

Ryan and McConnell (among several other Republican politicians) have in the past criticized Trump's racist and xenophobic remarks. They are still, however, endorsing him for president. 

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also didn't have a response. None of the politicians on Trump's rumored short list of VP candidates -- including Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (Ga.) -- spoke out either.

Fox News barely addressed Trump's tweet, and when the network did, it defended him.

Trump denied the tweet was anti-Semitic and blamed the "dishonest media" for making him look bad.

UPDATE: July 5, 12:30 p.m. -- Over 72 hours after Trump's tweet went out, Ryan responded to it during an interview with local Wisconsin radio station WTMJ.

“Look, anti-Semitic images they’ve got no place in a presidential campaign,” Ryan said. “I don’t know what flunky put this up there.

"He’s got to clean this up," he added, referring to Trump's Twitter account, which has on several occasions broadcast racist memes.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

 
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