Bloomberg knocks Trump's rhetoric: He can't 'shoot off his mouth and say anything'

Bloomberg knocks Trump's rhetoric: He can't 'shoot off his mouth and say anything'
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Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergBiden struggles to reverse fall Democrats' debate divisions open the race to new (or old) faces Judge Judy: Bloomberg as president could help US heal MORE said in a new interview that he believes President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi arrives in Jordan with bipartisan congressional delegation Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash CNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview MORE encourages the kind of attacks like the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Gilroy, Calif., with his rhetoric targeting immigrants and minority communities.

In an interview with CBS's "Face the Nation" airing Sunday, Bloomberg said that Trump "encourages racists" by saying "nice things about racists."

Though Bloomberg did not give any examples, Trump has faced criticism from Democrats for his response to the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., after which the president said that there was "blame on both sides” for the death of a counterprotester.

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"People look to their leadership for guidance and to say that it doesn't have an effect is wrong," the former mayor said. "So what the president says is very important, and if he supports or says nice things about racists, it encourages racism."

"If he goes and says nice things about white supremacists, he encourages that kind of violence," Bloomberg added.

Bloomberg, who briefly hinted at the possibility of a 2020 run last year, added in the interview that Trump needed to learn to represent all Americans, including his critics.

"[H]e's the president of the United States and he's not elected to run the Democrat- to the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, he's represented- he- he's elected to run America, the American government. And he's got to represent everybody whether he agrees with them or not," Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg's remarks come after law enforcement officials said that two recent mass shootings in as many weeks were likely carried out by suspects who were in possession of or who had personally expressed racist and anti-immigrant sentiments. The suspect in last Saturday's shooting in El Paso, Texas, told police after being captured that he was targeting "Mexicans."

Democrats including most of the 2020 campaign field have denounced the president in the days following the shootings, offering similar statements accusing the president of stoking white supremacist rhetoric.