Paul Ryan: Trump Needs to 'Clean Up' His Tweets

Speaker scolds billionaire over tweet with possibly anti-Semitic imagery

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has been critical of the tone coming from Donald Trump's campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Tuesday that a tweet that Donald Trump's campaign sent out attacking Hillary Clinton, which included Star Of David imagery, is another sign that the campaign has to fix its social media messaging.  

"I really believe he has got to clean up the way his new media works," the Wisconsin Republican said in an interview on the Milwaukee radio station WTMJ .  

Ryan told host Charlie Sykes that the tweet is a distraction and blasted the campaign staffer who posted the the image of Clinton with the words "most corrupt politician ever" inside a Star of David.  

"Look, anti-Semitic images have got no place in a presidential campaign. Candidates should know that," Ryan said. "The tweet has been deleted. I don't know what flunky put this up there, but obviously they got to fix that. We got to get back to the issues that matter to the public."  

This is not the first time the speaker has criticized the presumptive GOP nominee. Last month, Ryan called out Trump's comments about the judge presiding over the Trump University lawsuit, saying the remarks were the "textbook definition of a racist comment."  

[ Trump's Comments On Judge Highlight Legal Themes In Campaign ]  

The Wisconsin Republican said that he will continue to speak out against comments he disagrees with.  

“As you know, one of the few times I spoke out against him during the primary, very forcefully, was in this area when he failed to disavow white supremacists," Ryan said, referring to the time he hit Trump over his refusal to distance himself from the Ku Klux Klan during the primary season.  

Trump campaign spokesman Dan Scavino said in a statement that the image in question was selected for being a sheriff's badge, not the Star of David, and Scavino chose to take down that tweet because he "would never offend anyone."  

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said that Trump needs to accept that this tweet was anti-Semitic and not play the blame game.  

"It's long past time for Trump to unequivocally reject the hate-filled extremists orbiting around his campaign and take a stand against anti-Semitism, bigotry, and hate," Greenblatt said in a statement .  

Onetime GOP presidential rival turned ally Dr. Ben Carson was also critical of the tweet.

Contact Smith at jeremysmith@cqrollcall.com and follow him on Twitter @JeremySilkSmith .

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