Former GOP campaign strategist Steve Schmidt said Monday that conservative media figures such as Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin have "blood on their hands" in the aftermath of the Saturday shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue that claimed 11 lives.
"The propaganda industry that [Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne ConwayBiden administration competency doubts increase Cook Political Report shifts Virginia governor's race to 'toss-up' Overnight Defense & National Security — Iron Dome funding clears House MORE] commands, with the vile president that she serves, abetted by Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh and Breitbart and NewsBusters and Judicial Watch and all the rest of them, have blood on their hands for the incitements that they have made that have triggered and radicalized these crazy people," Schmidt said on MSNBC Monday, in regards to the anti-Semitic assault on the Tree of Life synagogue.
The author and commentator said President TrumpDonald TrumpMcCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Biden's Supreme Court reform study panel notes 'considerable' risks to court expansion Bennie Thompson not ruling out subpoenaing Trump MORE "scapegoats minority populations" and his media allies amplify the rhetoric.
"He alleges conspiracies. He creates a sense of shared and virtuous victimhood, positions himself as the avenger," Schmidt said.
Levin, who is himself Jewish, responded to Schmidt's statement over Twitter:
Shameless MSNBC and its unhinged and unstable contributor Steve Schmidt https://t.co/747rJMpZhp— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) October 30, 2018
NewsBusters publicly tore into Schmidt for his comments Monday, calling them "grotesque and vile."
"This was just another one of Schmidt’s fact-free, rage-fueled pontifications against the right that he has become known for," the conservative nonprofit wrote.
In his statements Monday, Schmidt compared the relationship between conservative rhetoric and the shooting to people being "radicalized by ISIS."
Last week, Schmidt blamed Trump's rhetoric for the attempted bombings against various high profile Democrats.
Trump has condemned both events and said that the man responsible for Saturday's shooting should pay "the ultimate price."
"This evil anti-Semitic attack is an attack on all of us, it is an assault on humanity. It will require all of us working together to extract the hateful poison of anti-Semitism from our world," said Trump, whose daughter converted to Judaism after marrying her Jewish husband and is raising their children in the faith.
"Through the centuries, the Jews have endured terrible persecution … And those seeking their destruction, we will seek their destruction," he added.