Trump ally under fire for tweet about anti-Semitic acts


A close ally of President Donald Trump was under fire Tuesday for a tweet about the recent rash of bomb threats at Jewish Community Centers that Democrats charged points to them as the culprits.

Anthony Scaramucci tweeted that "it's not yet clear who the #JCC offenders are" but he noted the "Democrats effort to incite violence at Trump rallies."

He also cited a Breitbart article that included a video from conservative activist James O'Keefe that claimed Democrats used "trained provocateurs" during the presidential campaign to instigate violence at Trump rallies.

NBC News has not to confirm the allegations.

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Almost immediately, Scaramucci began taking flack, including from Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), who called his tweet "vile."

In a subsequent tweet, Scaramucci appeared to backtrack, saying that "it's highly irresponsible to jump to conclusions."

In an interview with NBC News Tuesday night, Scaramucci insisted that he is not anti-Semitic and repeatedly denounced the acts. He said his intention was to highlight his belief that there was no connection between the acts and the new administration.

"I just think we should take the time, calm down and investigate who did it before we start accusing people," Scaramucci said in the interview.

Scaramucci has vigorously defended Trump against allegations that he has not done enough to combat the sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents that the Anti-Defamation League has recorded since the presidential election.

So far this year, JCCs have been hit with bomb threats seven dozen times at 53 facilities in 26 states and a Canadian province. The most recent rash on Monday resulted in the evacuations of hundreds of pre-school children and senior citizens.

They all turned out to be hoaxes but the FBI and local authorities are investigating and so far have not turned up any suspects.

Scaramucci on Tuesday also took part in a contentious interview with MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle during which he was put on the spot about the JCC bomb threats.

"Why are you blaming the bomb threats on the president?" he said at one point.

Rabbi Jack Moline, president of the Interfaith Alliance, blasted Scaramucci's tweet and Trump's reported suggestion Tuesday that the bomb scares could be an effort aimed at making his administration look bad.

"Taken together, the remarks by Trump and Scaramucci represent an utter failure to comprehend the recent surge in violent rhetoric and attacks directed at Jews, Muslims and other religious minorities," Moline said in a statement. "The President should be offering words of comfort to terrorized children instead of trying to smear political opponents with innuendo."

Trump began his joint address to Congress on Tuesday night by denouncing the recent threats against Jewish cemeteries and community centers.

"We are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms," Trump said.