An informal adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump unleashed a storm of protest on Twitter on Tuesday after he implied that the latest wave of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers across the U.S. is linked to the Democratic Party.
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Anthony Scaramucci, the founder of an investment firm and a Republican donor, was reportedly a candidate for a role in the Trump administration but was passed over as the White House’s liaison to the business community.
On Tuesday, Scaramucci tweeted: “It's not yet clear who the #JCC offenders are. Don't forget @TheDemocrats effort to incite violence at Trump rallies.” He included a link to an article that appeared on the right-wing Breitbart News website from October alleging efforts by the Democrats to incite violence at Trump campaign rallies.
A wave of bomb threats targeted Jewish centers and schools in 16 states from coast-to-coast on Monday. In recent weeks, there have been threats directed at other American Jewish institutions as well as two major incidents of Jewish cemetery vandalism, one in the St. Louis area and another discovered over the weekend in Philadelphia.
When Mark Gongloff, an editor with the Bloomberg Gadfly commentary site, retweeted the post and characterized it as one in which "a key Trump adviser suggests Dems are behind the JCC threats," Scaramucci retorted: "No, I'm saying until we know for sure it's highly irresponsible to jump to conclusions."
In response, Jewish Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) tweeted: "This is vile. You should quit your role as Senior Advisor to the President, for the good of the country."
After remaining silent over the waves of anti-Semitic incidents, Trump told Craig Melvin of NBC News last week: "Anti-Semitism is horrible and it's gonna stop and it's got to stop." Prior to that, Trump had avoided straightforward and specific denunciations of hate crimes against Jews when asked about them at two separate press conferences.