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Ryan Trump

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, has criticized another comment from Donald Trump.

J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE -- Associated Press

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan has again rebuked his party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump, this time for a Twitter post containing an image Ryan called “anti-Semitic.”

Ryan’s comments came in a Tuesday interview with conservative radio host Charlie Sykes.

They’re the latest example of how the 2016 campaign has frayed ties between the nation’s top two Republicans. Ryan, the leading Republican in Congress, repeatedly has denounced his own party’s standard-bearer, Trump, while still supporting his White House bid.

This time Ryan, R-Janesville, addressed a widely criticized Twitter post made on — then quickly deleted from — Trump’s account on Saturday. It featured a graphic with a picture of presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton backed by piles of cash, next to a six-pronged star resembling a Jewish Star of David — with a message proclaiming her the “most corrupt candidate ever!”

Groups such as the Anti-Defamation League blasted the tweet, and Clinton’s campaign called it “anti-Semitic.”

Asked by Sykes for his reaction, Ryan echoed that criticism.

“Anti-Semitic images, they’ve got no place in a presidential campaign. Candidates should know that,” Ryan said.

Before Trump tweeted the graphic, it appeared on an online message board frequented by anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi and white supremacist users.

Sykes asked Ryan on Tuesday if Republican officials should pressure Trump to ensure his campaign is more careful on social media.

“I really believe he’s got to clean up the way his new media works,” Ryan responded. “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 called out Trump earlier this year when he initially declined to disavow the support of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, one of many prominent white supremacists backing Trump.

Ryan also panned Trump’s plan to block all Muslims from entering the U.S., saying it’s “not what this party stands for and more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for.”

Last month, Ryan publicly slammed Trump over his claim that a U.S.-born judge of Mexican descent was not qualified to preside over a Trump University court case. Ryan called that the “textbook definition of a racist comment.”


Mark Sommerhauser covers state government and politics for the Wisconsin State Journal.