One day after authorities announced that they’d intercepted a series of suspicious, and possibly explosive, packages mailed to prominent Democrats and members of the media, President Donald Trump has returned to his regularly scheduled programming.
President Donald Trump returned on Thursday to blaming the media for much of the “anger” in society, a day after CNN and Democrats were the targets of explosive devices.
“A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News,” Trump tweeted. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description.”“Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!” he continued.Although the President has often derided the media as “fake news,” even labeling reporters the “enemy of the people,” Thursday’s tweet is especially striking in the wake of potential attacks on a major media outlet and political figures who have criticized him.Former CIA Director John Brennan, who was an intended recipient of one of the packages, responded to Trump’s tweet, telling the President to “stop blaming others” and “look in the mirror.”
President Donald Trump once suggested that “Second Amendment people” could take matters into their own hands if Hillary Clinton won the election and stacked the courts with anti-gun judges.
In 2016, he encouraged the roughing-up of protesters at his campaign rallies. Last year, Trump tweeted a video of himself tackling a man with a CNN logo superimposed across his face, adding the hashtag #FraudNewsCNN. And just last week, he made light of a Republican congressman who was convicted of assault for body-slamming a reporter.
Amid disturbing reports that explosive devices were sent to some of the president’s top political enemies by one or more unknown persons, Trump’s critics say he has a reckless penchant for, at a minimum, celebrating violence against his enemies — and, at worst, inciting it.
But the president embraced a very different message on Wednesday, decrying “political violence” and presenting himself as a bipartisan healer during remarks at the White House, touching off an unexpected national debate about political discourse that itself quickly grew divisive, with left and right each accusing the other of bad faith.
“Those engaged in the political arena must stop treating political opponents as being morally defective,” a staid Trump said Wednesday night at the start of a rally in Wisconsin, adding later, “By the way, do you see how nice I’m behaving today? Have you ever seen this?”
Trump’s solemn remarks were a jarring contrast with his typical raucous political rallies, where he regularly whips his supporters into a frenzy by mocking his critics and political opponents.
In Trump’s world, Clinton should be imprisoned, Obama “founded” ISIS, CNN is “fake news,” billionaire George Soros is funding liberal protesters and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who called on activists to confront administration officials, should “be careful what you wish for.”
Trump’s latest about-face is newsworthy in that it marks just the latest attack on figures in the media, a prime target of the president’s since his rise with extreme right voters.
Following a newsroom shooting in Maryland this summer, the president waited a matters of days before unleashing more broadsides, pointing to reporters at a Montana rally and denouncing them as “bad people.”
And while it’s not fair to blame the president and his supporters for all such attacks, Trump should understand his role in the matter. He is an influencer, for better or worse.
Violence should be condemned in the strongest terms, but our president somehow finds extenuating circumstances when it comes to attacks on the media.
Trump should know better, and he does.