Just when you think the saga of Donald Trump’s not-so-subtle, likely accidental white supremacist dog whistle can’t get any more exciting, Trump’s Director of Social Media Dan Scavino proves us wrong. Dan—take it away.
Now, there’s a lot going on here, so let’s break this down bit-by-bit.
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.
Not sourced from an anti-Semitic site, you say? While the user who originally tweeted the image has since deleted his or her account, some people have managed to save @FishBoneHead1's prior work for posterity.
Left: Statement from Trump campaign saying they got star image from Twitter user— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) July 5, 2016
Right: Another image from that user pic.twitter.com/Eyvv79CeBr
Perhaps that shape was simply conducive to getting the most out of the Hillary’s many heads. Weird coincidence!
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.
What? You just said you had nothing to do with the creation of the image. And though it’s besides the point, a quick look at the apparently Nazi-sympathetic “shapes” tab in Microsoft Word shows no such star [*see update below].
There is, however, a triangle which can be used to create a six-pointed star—so maybe Dan was getting creative.
As the Social Media Director for the campaign, I would never offend anyone and therefore chose to remove the image.
To be fair, Dan Scavino did remove the image. After tweeting a new, less offensive version while still inexplicably leaving the original up for several hours.
In other words, Dan Scavino’s statement tells us everything we already knew and answers none of our actual questions. Questions like why a presidential campaign is swiping content from random, white supremacist Twitter accounts instead of creating its own images that don’t risk signaling solidarity with neo-Nazis, for instance. Since the Trump campaign refuses to answer Gawker’s emails, I’d ask Dan Scavino himself on Twitter, but he has me blocked.
Update 10:38 p.m.: Some versions of Microsoft’s products do, in fact, carry the star. Dan, I would love to apologize to you personally. Please unblock me.