An entertainment writer at the New York Observer is calling out Jared Kushner, the paper’s owner and Donald Trump’s son-in-law, for supporting the presidential candidate following a controversial meme he tweeted on Saturday.
In an open letter published in the Observer, Dana Schwartz referenced what she called the meme’s “anti-Semitic imagery,” which depicted Hillary Clinton beside the words “Most Corrupt Candidate” superimposed over a six-pointed silhouette resembling a Star of David atop a background of $100 bills. Though Trump claimed the symbol was a sheriff’s star, he deleted the tweet and republished the image with a circle instead.
“People can play ignorant, blame the corrupt liberal media for trying to ‘get’ Trump, but it takes only a basic knowledge of world history or an understanding of how symbols work to see a wall of cash, a Star of David, and the accusation of corruption and not see the subtext,” Schwartz wrote.
She also included a gallery of anti-Semitic tweets she received after tweeting out her response to the meme, and highlighted efforts by Trump’s supporters to point out the fact that his son-in-law’s Jewish heritage as proof that the candidate is not anti-Semitic.
“Please do not condescend to me and pretend you don’t understand the imagery of a six-sided star when juxtaposed with money and accusations of financial dishonesty. I’m asking you, not as a ‘gotcha’ journalist or as a liberal but as a human being: how do you allow this? Because, Mr. Kushner, you are allowing this,” Schwartz wrote. “When you stand silent and smiling in the background, his Jewish son-in-law, you’re giving his most hateful supporters tacit approval.”
Schwartz further discussed how the meme was taken from a white supremacist internet forum, and that Trump’s re-posting of it included the hashtag #AmericaFirst, a movement led by “white supremacist” Charles Lindbergh during World War II. Though she said Trump himself might not be anti-Semitic, several of his supporters are and the candidate has not denounced any of their messages.
In a statement to TheWrap, Kushner said, “My father-in-law is an incredibly loving and tolerant person who has embraced my family and our Judaism since I began dating my wife. I know that Donald does not at all subscribe to any racist or anti-semitic thinking. I have personally seen him embrace people of all racial and religious backgrounds. The suggestion that he may be intolerant is not reflective of the Donald Trump I know.”
TheWrap declined a later request for retraction of the statement by a Kushner representative.
Kushner — who is married to the GOP presumptive nominee’s daughter Ivanka — has become increasingly involved with Trump’s campaign, having virtually become its unofficial manager. In addition to helping recruit a new director of communications, Kushner has drafted several of Trump’s policy speeches, led the creation of an online fundraising system for the campaign, and is aiding the candidate in selecting a running mate, according to the New York Times.
Read Schwartz’s letter in full here.