The Obama administration is blaming the rise of racial tensions on the Republican presidential field because of its use of "divisive and offensive rhetoric."

"I think the willingness of high profile candidates for office in the Republican party to use divisive, offensive rhetoric that appeals to peoples fears and anxieties is counterproductive, it doesn't make the country stronger," said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. Without naming Donald Trump, the White House spokesman took an indirect swipe at the billionaire businessman when asked if he was willing to acknowledge a visible uptick of racial tensions across the country.

"It certainly is a calculated political strategy to try to divide the country to advance their campaign. It's cynical, repugnant, something the president and other people have spoken out against on a number of occasions."

During his remarks Wednesday on Capitol Hill marking the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery, President Obama appeared to rebuke Trump saying, "Our freedom is bound up in the freedom of others, regardless of what they look like, or where they come from, or what their last name is, or what faith they practice."

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