The Latest: Trump blames fuss over tweeted star on Clinton

AP News
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Posted: Jul 04, 2016 8:46 PM
The Latest: Trump blames fuss over tweeted star on Clinton

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2016 presidential campaign. (All times EDT):

8:20 p.m.

Trump campaign social media director Dan Scavino says in a statement posted on Donald Trump's Facebook page Monday evening that an anti-Hillary Clinton tweet that some have claimed was offensive was lifted from an anti-Clinton Twitter feed. He says it was never intended to offend anyone.

Critics have said the Twitter image criticizing Hillary Clinton appeared to depict the Star of David atop a pile of cash and was anti-Semitic.

Scavino says the social media graphic used this weekend was not created by the campaign nor was it sourced from an anti-Semitic site.

He said the star, which he described as a sheriff's badge fit with the theme of corrupt Hillary and that is why he selected it.

He says as social media director he would never offend anyone intentionally and therefore chose to remove the image.

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6:45 p.m.

Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton's campaign is "ridiculous" to portray an anti-Clinton tweet that appeared to depict the Star of David atop a pile of cash as anti-Semitic.

In a statement issued by his Republican presidential campaign, Trump suggested Clinton and her allies were using the matter to distract from her own recent campaign troubles.

Trump says the tweet portrayed "a basic star, often used by sheriffs who deal with criminals and criminal behavior."

It was his most extensive comment since his official account tweeted— then deleted — the image of the six-point star Saturday, sparking an uproar over its potentially anti-Semitic connotations.

Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League says Trump's attempt to dismiss the concerns of people who have taken issue with the post "falls somewhere between absurd and offensive."

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3:45 p.m.

If Donald Trump and Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst discussed making her his running mate in a weekend meeting, mum's the word.

The senator released a statement afterward saying they had a good talk and discussed concerns she's hearing from Iowans about the direction of the country as she tours her state. Neither Ernst nor Trump mentioned his vice presidential search publicly.

Ernst says in her statement: "Iowans are frustrated by the current direction of our country — and we simply cannot afford to continue these failed policies under Hillary Clinton."

Trump tweeted before the meeting that Ernst has done a great job as a senator.

The presumptive Republican nominee also spent time over the weekend with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. He's considered another running-mate prospect.

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1:15 p.m.

Hillary Clinton's campaign says a tweet from Donald Trump that appeared to feature the Star of David is "disturbing" and part of a pattern that "should give voters major cause for concern."

Sarah Bard, Clinton's director for Jewish outreach, says Trump should be "condemning hate," not blaming others. Bard says a president should be someone who "brings Americans together, not someone who sends signals and offers policies of division."

The campaign's comments come after Trump blamed the media for the controversy involving an anti-Clinton tweet that appeared to depict the symbol of Judaism, a six-pointed star, atop a pile of cash.

The tweet was sent from Trump's official account Saturday, then deleted. A new version was later posted with a circle in place of the star.

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12:50 p.m.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is spending part of his July 4th with Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst amid speculation about his vice presidential pick.

Trump tweets, "I look forward to meeting @joniernst today in New Jersey." He says, "She has done a great job as senator of Iowa!"

Ernst is a first-term senator, combat veteran and the first woman elected to Congress from Iowa.

She ran on a platform of cutting wasteful spending, with the slogan "Make 'em squeal."

Representatives for Ernst and for Trump's campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Trump also spent time over the weekend with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

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12:45 p.m.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is blaming the news media for the controversy surrounding an anti-Hillary Clinton tweet that appeared to depict the Star of David atop a pile of cash.

Trump says on Twitter: "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!"

It's his first response since his official account tweeted — then deleted — the image Saturday. It later posted a new version with a circle in place of the star.

It remains unclear where the campaign found the image. It previously appeared on a message board filled with anti-Semitic and white supremacist messages as well as the Twitter feed of a self-identified comedian who tweeted out provocative and offensive messages.

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11 a.m.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says in a tweet he was impressed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence during a weekend meeting.

The Saturday meeting between the billionaire businessman and Indiana's governor took place Saturday as Trump considers potential running mates.

Trump tweets on Monday: "Spent time with Indiana Governor Mike Pence and family yesterday. Very impressed, great people!"

Pence spokesman Marc Lotter says that the two couples had a "warm, productive" meeting before Pence returned to Indiana, but he said "nothing was offered."

Trump has never held public office and is considering a small group of political veterans as potential running mates.

People with direct knowledge of Trump's vetting process say the list includes Pence, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions.