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Lankford: Trump should be 'more clear' in his rhetoric

Lankford: Trump should be 'more clear' in his rhetoric
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordRepublicans see Becerra as next target in confirmation wars Overnight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March 11 GOP senators slam Biden pick for health secretary: 'No meaningful experience' MORE (R-Okla.) says 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 does not meet his standard for presidential behavior and language, and called on the president to be "more clear" in his words.

Speaking on CBS's "Face the Nation," the Oklahoma Republican was asked by anchor John Dickerson whether Trump's rhetoric met his standard as presidential.

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"No, and I've said this to the president before," Lankford told CBS. "I think the president needs to be more clear in his rhetoric, and doesn't need to be as caustic in his rhetoric."

"That's the way he chooses to be able to communicate these things, and I don't think it's always helpful in that," Lankford added.

His comments follow a deadly mass shooting Saturday at a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh and the attempted bombing last week of several top Democrats. Lawmakers and others have warned that political rhetoric is likely contributing to an environment that encourages such violence.

"These are just hate-filled individuals who are very deranged," Lankford added, while noting on the Pittsburgh shooting that "this particular shooter also condemned President Trump," as he believed the president to be in league with "globalists."

Saturday's shooting at a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh left 11 people dead and six others, including four police officers, injured. 

CNN President Jeff Zucker, whose own newsroom received a suspicious package intended for former CIA Director 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, took aim at the president in a statement after CNN's New York facility was evacuated.

"There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media," Zucker accused in a statement.