President Donald Trump on Monday attacked the “fake news media” as the “true enemy of the people” following a week of terror and violence in the United States.
Five days after a pipe bomb was sent to CNN, a network frequently bashed by the president, Trump tweeted that “inaccurate” reporting is partially to blame for the “great anger in our country.”
“The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly,” he tweeted. “Fake News Must End!”
Lawmakers and commentators on both sides of the aisle have called on Trump to refrain from making divisive comments in the wake of last week’s mail bomb attacks on CNN and prominent Democrats, as well as the deadly mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Anthony Scaramucci, who was ousted as White House communications director after just 11 days last year, told CNN on Sunday that Trump should “tone down” his rhetoric.
“There’s no need to have a war with the media,” Scaramucci said. “You know, as far as I’m concerned, you can have an adversarial relationship, but we should be de-escalating this stuff.”
Still, despite calling for civility from “all sides” last week, Trump has continued to attack the media in recent days. CNN President Jeff Zucker slammed the White House over its hostile stance toward the press last week.
“There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media,” Zucker said in a statement. “The President, and especially the White House press secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that.”
Several CNN staffers on Monday condemned Trump over his aggressive tweets.
“I watched my team escorted out of our NY HQ five days ago as the NYPD isolated a bomb in our building,” CNN’s Jim Sciutto tweeted. “We reported the facts, as we always do. We are not fake news. We are journalists doing our jobs as best we can every day.”
Hours later, CNN reported another “suspicious package” addressed to the network had been intercepted Monday at an Atlanta mail facility. The package was similar to others sent to the network and high-profile Democrats last week, CBS News reported.
The White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
This story has been updated to include details about an additional “suspicious package” reportedly sent to CNN.