Donald Trump Criticizes Media Just Hours After Pipe Bomb Scare

The president urged unity after Democrats and CNN were targeted, but didn’t mention his own attacks on the free press during his Wisconsin rally.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday vowed to bring to justice the people responsible for this week’s bomb scare, which targeted prominent Democrats and CNN ― but he also criticized the news media.

“No nation can succeed that tolerates violence or the threat of violence as a method of political intimidation, coercion or control,” Trump said at a rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin, on Wednesday night. “Such conduct must be fiercely opposed and firmly prosecuted.”

“We want all sides to come together in peace and harmony,” he added. “We can do it, we can do it, we can do it. It’ll happen.”

Trump then partially blamed the media for the politically charged bomb scare and the country’s divide.

“As part of a larger national effort to bridge our divides and bring people together, the media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories,” Trump added. “They’ve got to stop, bring people together.”

Several suspicious packages apparently containing explosive devices were mailed to prominent Democrats late Tuesday, including Hillary and Bill Clinton, former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden, law enforcement officials announced Wednesday.

CNN’s New York headquarters also received a suspicious package, addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan. The Time Warner Center in Manhattan, where CNN’s offices are located, was evacuated Wednesday after a package containing a pipe bomb and white powder was found in the mailroom around 9 a.m.

Another suspicious package was discovered at the office of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) in Sunrise, Florida, on Wednesday. It was addressed to former Attorney General Eric Holder but was rerouted to Schultz’s address.

The items in the packages resembled an explosive device sent to billionaire George Soros, a prominent Democratic donor and frequent target of far-right conspiracy theories, earlier this week.

All of the packages delivered this week listed Schultz’s Florida office on the return address label, according to the FBI.

Trump has constantly bashed the news media during his presidential campaign and into his presidency, going as far as promoting violence against journalists on social media and during his rallies.

During a Montana rally last week, the president praised Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte’s 2017 assault of Guardian journalist Ben Jacobs. Trump described Gianforte as a “tough cookie” and “my kind of guy.”

Gianforte pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault following his attack on Jacobs.

The president failed to acknowledge that or his other attacks on the media and fellow lawmakers during Wednesday’s rally, instead calling on others in the political arena to “stop treating political opponents as being morally defective.”

“The language of moral condemnation and destructive routine, these are arguments and disagreements that have to stop,” Trump said. “No one should carelessly compare political opponents to historical villains. We should not mob people in public spaces, or destroy public property. There is one way to voice your opinion; it’s called peacefully at the ballot box.”

Despite his call for unity, however, Trump launched a few personal attacks on Democratic lawmakers during his speech while insisting he was “trying to be nice.”

He referred to Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) as a “radical far-left opponent” who wants a “socialist takeover” of health care.

“You know, I’m trying to say that very nicely,” Trump said. “Normally I’d scream, ‘They want a socialist takeover!’”

This story has been updated with additional comments from Trump’s speech.

Nick Visser contributed to this report.

Popular in the Community


What's Hot