US Election 2016

US election: Trump 'Star of David tweet from far-right group'

Tweet from Donald Trump with picture of Hillary Clinton and $100 bills as background and the message "Most corrupt candidate ever" Image copyright Twitter - @realDonaldTrump
Image caption Mr Trump deleted the initial tweet and posted this message

An image resembling the Star of David used by presumptive US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Twitter was previously posted on a far-right Internet forum, a report says.

The picture featured the star over a picture of Hillary Clinton, with a text reading "Most corrupt candidate ever!" and a background of $100 bills.

Mr Trump has deleted the message.

The Mic website reports the image first appeared on a message board known for anti-Semitism and white supremacy.

Mr Trump's post, published on Saturday, prompted strong reaction on social media and accusations of anti-Semitism.

The Star of David is a Jewish symbol. It was used by the Nazis to identify Jews. It is also featured on the Israeli flag.

The billionaire deleted the picture and posted another image, with a circle covering the star, though tips of it were still visible.

The Mic report said the page at the forum where the picture was originally posted no longer exists.

It also said the message linked to a Twitter account where the same picture had been posted. It has since been deleted, but the website posted a picture of the original tweet.

Image copyright Mic
Image caption The report said the picture had been previously posted on an Internet forum and on Twitter

Mr Trump and his campaign have not commented on the case.

Some social media users defended the tweet, saying the six-pointed star is a symbol used by sheriff's departments and that it is a graphic form widely available on computer programs.

Nevertheless, the tweet attracted heavy criticism.

Jonathan Greenblatt, from the Anti-Defamation League, said it was "long overdue" for Mr Trump to "step up, speak out and shut it down".

And Mrs Clinton's spokesman Josh Schwerin said on Twitter: "Why is there a Star of David?"

It is not the first time that Mr Trump has been criticised for racist and anti-Semitic messages.

He has already reposted comments made by supremacist groups on social media.

Earlier this year, he was criticised on his failure to disavow David Duke, a leader of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan, who endorsed him. He later said he had on several occasions in the past disavowed Mr Duke.

Critics also point to his divisive remarks, especially about Muslims and immigrants. But the incidents do not appear to cause him damage among his supporters, analysts say.