Donald Trump
Donald TrumpReuters

President Donald Trump on Tuesday appeared to suggest that a spate of bomb threats against Jewish community centers may have been manufactured for political reasons, officials claimed in a conversation with Reuters.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who attended a White House meeting with other state law enforcement officials, told the news agency Trump said the bomb threats could have been an attempt “to make others look bad.”

During a meeting at the White House with dozens of state attorneys general on Tuesday, Trump called the threats “reprehensible,” said Shapiro, a Democrat, but also added that “the reverse could be true” and that the incidents could be aimed at making “someone else look bad.”

The president’s words came in response to a question about the threats from Shapiro, who said two of his children had to be evacuated from their day school on Monday.

“I found that statement to be a bit curious,” Shapiro said, though he would not speculate about what Trump may have meant.

Sarah Sanders, a White House spokeswoman, said she was not part of Tuesday’s meeting, referring to it as a “private conversation,” but said the president has always condemned anti-Semitic acts.

“What I do know is the conversations I have had with the president,” Sanders said, according to Reuters. “He’s been extremely clear and extremely consistent on this topic: Any act of violence toward people of the Jewish faith is condemned by this administration.”

On Monday, at least 10 Jewish community centers and Jewish day schools across the United States received bomb threats, the fifth wave of such threats in less than two months.

In addition, two Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized in recent weeks. Nearly 200 headstones were knocked over in a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis.

In another incident, dozens of headstones were toppled in a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Monday that Trump is "deeply disappointed and concerned" by recent anti-Semitic incidents.

"The President remains deeply disappointed and concerned by the reports of further vandalism at Jewish cemeteries," Spicer said.

"The cowardly destruction in Philadelphia this weekend comes on top of similar accounts from Missouri and threats made to Jewish community centers around the country.

"The President continues to condemn these and any other form of anti-Semitic or hateful acts in the strongest terms,” he added.

Mississippi attorney general, Democrat Jim Hood, largely confirmed Shapiro’s account, according to Reuters.

“He kind of said something to the effect, maybe that was an insider job,” Hood said. “He said something about, some of the time those situations happen to make another look bad.”

Herbert Slatery, the Republican attorney general from Tennessee, said Trump clearly denounced the threats before engaging in what Slatery described as a “hypothetical.”

“I thought it was fairly innocuous,” Slatery added.