Trump accuses Clinton of corruption with tweet featuring cash, Jewish Star of David

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted an image of rival Hillary Clinton alongside hundred-dollar bills and a Jewish star bearing the words "most corrupt candidate ever!", prompting outrage and bafflement on social media.

'Donald Trump again plays to the white supremacists,' says conservative radio host

Two hours after his initial tweet, Donald Trump tweeted a similar image in which the six-pointed Star of David was replaced by a circle. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted an image of rival Hillary Clinton alongside hundred-dollar bills and a Jewish star bearing the words "most corrupt candidate ever!", prompting outrage and bafflement on social media.

Two hours after his initial tweet, Trump tweeted a similar image in which the six-pointed Star of David, which appears on Israel's flag and which Jews were forced to wear on their clothing by the Nazis during the Holocaust, was replaced by a circle.

The original tweet was deleted. Critics said the image featuring the star harkened back to centuries-old anti-Semitic stereotypes, such as the belief that Jews are greedy.

"Just saw #DonaldTrump's Star of David tweet. I'm impressed by his ability to find a way to insult literally every kind of human being," screenwriter Cole Haddon wrote on Twitter.

"A Star of David, a pile of cash, and suggestions of corruption. Donald Trump again plays to the white supremacists," wrote Erick Erickson, a conservative radio host who has been critical of Trump.

The tweets originated from Trump's account, @realDonaldTrump, and no other users were mentioned in them.

Image posted earlier on far-right website

The image first appears to have hit the internet on June 15, when it was posted by the Twitter user @FishBoneHead1. The account, which described itself as belonging to a comedian, regularly tweeted out anti-Clinton and right-leaning messages and images.

The image also appeared on June 22, on /pol/, a subsection of the 4chan internet message board that features many far-right and anti-Semitic posts.

It remains unclear where Trump's campaign obtained the image. A spokeswoman for the campaign did not immediately respond to questions about the original tweet or who was responsible for sending it out. Trump's Twitter account remained silent on the issue Sunday.

The @FishBoneHead1 account was deleted amid the uproar on Sunday afternoon. The person who operated the feed did not respond to a request for comment before it was deleted. The post itself was deleted from the /pol/ message board, but its existence was confirmed by The Associated Press through an search engine that combs internet archives.

The image's appearance on /pol/ and @FishBoneHead1's Twitter feed was first reported by the website mic.com.

Trump, who is running for president as a Republican, has repeatedly said that he would remain a staunch defender of Israel and last week shot down a question from a town hall attendee who questioned the U.S.'s defence of the Jewish state. His daughter, Ivanka, converted to Judaism and is raising her children Jewish.

William Johnson, a leader of the American Freedom Party and self-proclaimed white nationalist, ran pro-Trump robo-calls during the Republican primary. (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)

Trump has been criticized in the past for repeatedly re-tweeting posts from white supremacists' accounts and failing to immediately denounce the support of former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke. Trump has a loyal following on white supremacist message boards and has been endorsed by several prominent white nationalist leaders who have credited him for invigorating their cause. Among them is William Johnson, chair of the American Freedom Party, which ran pro-Trump robo-calls during the Republican primary.

Trump's former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, dismissed the controversy in an interview with CNN Sunday, accusing the media of trying to create something out of nothing.