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Scaramucci: Trump 'controls the news cycle,' should tone down rhetoric

Scaramucci: Trump 'controls the news cycle,' should tone down rhetoric
© Taylor Lorenz

Former White House communications director Anthony ScaramucciAnthony ScaramucciBiden doubles down on normal at White House Pence, other GOP officials expected to skip Trump send-off Kelly says Trump can't admit to making mistakes: 'His manhood is at issue here' MORE said Sunday that President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE should do more to "tone down" his political rhetoric following a week of politically tinged violence.

"I think in general, we've got to tone [the rhetoric] down," Scaramucci told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union."

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"He's the President of the United States. He controls the news cycle and the bully pulpit, and he could do it," Scaramucci added. He suggested that Trump needs to lead the way after a Florida man's attempts to mail explosive devices to top members of the Democratic Party and the deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that is being charged as a hate crime. 

Scaramucci also defended the president against charges of contributing to anti-Semitism.

"Well, look. The president, he has three Orthodox Jewish grandchildren," Scaramucci told CNN. "I've traveled to Israel four or five times ... it's not clear to me that people in Israel think the president is anti-Semitic."

Trump faced criticism this week for his rhetoric amid reports of explosive devices mailed to several top Democrats who have been personally targeted by Trump in past speeches, such as Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMedia circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Senate ref axes minimum wage, House votes today on relief bill Democratic strategists start women-run media consulting firm MORE and billionaire Democratic mega-donor George Soros.

"In these times, we have to unify. We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America,” Trump said Wednesday, after the bomb threats. 

CNN president Jeff Zucker, whose own newsroom received a suspicious package addressed to former CIA director and current MSNBC contributor John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanOnline and frighteningly real: 'A Taste of Armageddon' The biggest example of media malfeasance in 2020 is... Meet Biden's pick to lead the US intelligence community MORE, responded by calling on the president and his top aides to take greater responsibility for their words.

"Their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that," Zucker said in a statement.

Trump has also explicitly condemned the Pittsburgh shooting as anti-Semitic

“If you don't mind, I'm going to tone it down, just a little bit," Trump said at a rally in Illinois Saturday night after the synagogue shooting.

"Is that okay?" he asked.

After the crowd responded with a 'No,” he said, "I had a feeling you might say that."

--This report was updated at 12:01 p.m.