More often than not, piles of money, white-supremacist websites, and accusations of corruption are breadcrumbs on the road to controversy. But blend all those elements into a tweet from the country’s most outrageous presidential candidate, and they can stir public outrage.
Donald Trump’s director of social media and senior advisor, Dan Scavino Jr.—a Hopewell Junction resident and Yorktown High School graduate—is defending the campaign against claims of anti-Semitism after Trump’s Twitter page shared an image of Hillary Clinton flanked by $100 bills alongside the words the “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever” inside a six-pointed graphic some felt resembled the Star of David.
The tweet, posted Saturday, was quickly removed and replaced by a similar image substituting a circle for the star. Yet this isn’t the first time Trump’s campaign has been accused of putting out anti-Semitic tweets, and the critics were no slower to put him on blast this time either. The image Trump’s feed appropriated last weekend was traced back to an 8chan message board for white supremacists, where it was posted as early as June 22, according to Mic.com.
In a statement released Monday, Scavino, who began his relationship with Trump as a 16-year-old caddie at Briar Hall Country Club in Briarcliff Manor, admitted to selecting the graphic himself, claiming the star was meant to be a sheriff’s badge and the image was not “sourced from an anti-Semitic site. It was lifted from an anti-Hillary Twitter user where countless images appear.”
“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,” said Scavino.
In the years that followed Scavino’s initial brush with the presumptive Republican nominee, Scavino rose to Trump’s inner circle and was promoted to general manager of Briar Hall, which had seen been renamed Trump National Golf Club. This February, Scavino was selected to direct Trump’s social-media campaign, a position in which he travels the country with the candidate, seamlessly channeling Trump’s persona in his Twitter posts. Scavino often forms his tweets from Trump’s unadulterated dictation, he told CNN, which, for his sake, hopefully accounts for the unvarnished and often error-riddled results.
And in any event, in his statement, the Hudson Valley’s most notorious man so far this week assured the public that, “As the Social Media Director for the campaign, I would never offend anyone and therefore chose to remove the image.”