Donald Trump Jr. compares Syrian refugees to Skittles

Donald Trump Jr. speaks at the RNC in Cleveland on July 19, 2016, saying that the country needs a president who won’t “delete” its problems.

Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

Last Updated Sep 20, 2016 3:50 PM EDT

Donald Trump Jr., the son of Republican nominee Donald Trump, tweeted out a graphic Monday night that compared Syrian refugees to Skittles.

“If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful?” the graphic asked. “That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”

Trump Jr. added, in text above the graphic, “This image says it all.”

Trump’s father, Donald Trump, has strongly opposed allowing Syrian refugees into the United States, first proposing a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and then changing that ban to be for people from “areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe, or our allies.”

See the tweet:

Skittles’ maker, Wrigley Americas, disagreed with the assertion that “the image says it all.” It didn’t like the comparison and failed to see the similarities between the brightly colored candy and refugees.

Wrigley Americas issued a statement to CBS News saying, “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy. We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”

Trump’s campaign issued a statement defending Donald Trump Jr. as “a tremendous asset to the campaign.”

“America has become less safe under Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and Clinton’s planned 550% increase in Syrian refugees is a dangerous proposal that will put American lives at risk,” said senior communications adviser Jason Miller. “Speaking the truth might upset those who would rather be politically correct than safe, but the American people want a change, and only Donald Trump will do what’s needed to protect us.”

Last week, Trump Jr. caused controversy when he suggested the media have helped Hillary Clinton by letting her “slide” on “every lie,” adding that if Republicans did the same, the media would be “warming up the gas chamber” for them. Nazi Germany used gas chambers during the Holocaust to kill millions of Jews and others, and gas chambers are now often used in Holocaust references.

Many on social media had a strong reaction to Trump Jr.’s Skittles tweet, with more than 65,000 tweets mentioning the top trending topic as of 11:30 p.m. 

See some of the reactions below:

  • Emily Schultheis

    Emily Schultheis is a reporter/editor for CBS News Digital.