Donald Trump accused the media on Friday night of using the ‘sinister actions’ of an attempted bomber targeting his political opponents to ‘score political points against me and the Republican Party’ at a rally at which he returned to the fiery rhetoric that’s become a hallmark of his rallies.
He told a Charlotte crowd in an extended tirade on the media that ‘political violence must never, ever be allowed in America, and I will do everything in my power to stop it’ – but the press also has a responsibility to moderate its tone and promote civility.
‘We must unify as a nation in peace, love and in harmony,’ he said. ‘The media has a major role to play, whether they want to or not.’
The audience interrupted the president to boo at the press pen and shout ‘CNN sucks’ in the same direction as Trump repeated himself.
‘And they do indeed, they have a major role to play as far as tone and as far as everything,’ he added. ‘And we all say this, in all sincerity, but the media’s constant unfair coverage, deep hostility and negative attacks, you know that, only serve to drive people apart and to undermine healthy debate.’
Donald Trump accused the media on Friday night of using the ‘sinister actions’ of a bomber targeting his political opponents to ‘score political points against me and the Republican Party’ at a rally at which he returned to the fiery rhetoric that’s become a hallmark of his rallies
RILED UP, READY TO GO: Trump took slaps at the media, Nancy Pelosi, ‘Cryin Chuck,’ Maxine Waters and the caravan in Charlotte, North Carolina
The audience interrupted the president to boo at the press pen and shout ‘CNN sucks’ in the same direction as Trump lectured the media on civility
‘The media’s constant unfair coverage, deep hostility and negative attacks – you know that – only serve to drive people apart and to undermine healthy debate,’ he said in remarks leading into the claim that news outlets are intentionally linking the bomber to him to undercut his message.
Trump said: ‘For example, we have seen an effort by the media in recent hours to use the sinister actions of one individual to score political points against me and the Republican Party.’
He brought up Sen. Bernie Sanders and a deranged individual who rained down bullets on a GOP baseball practice, severely wounding Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, in the summer of 2017 before he was shot and killed by police.
‘We did not use that heinous attempt at mass murder for political gain, because that would have been wrong. It would have been the wrong thing to do. Many other examples could be brought up,’ he claimed. ‘Nor do we blame the Democrat Party every time radical leftists seize and destroy public property and unleash violence in mayhem.
‘Yet the media has tried to attack the incredible Americans who support our movement to give power back to the people,’ he contended.
Trump continued to harangue the media for unfavorable coverage of his policies, saying at a new study had just been published that found that 94 percent of news stories written about him are negative. He did not say where he had obtained the statistic but appeared to be referring to an October report from the conservative Media Research Center. He cited the report in an Oct. 10 tweet.
Even the president’s favorite network, Fox News, wasn’t immune to the president’s scolding on Friday evening, with anchor Brett Baier coming under scrutiny for his coverage of Trump’s summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
‘It’s very important that the media cover results properly. And I could give you, I could stand up here, I could give you all night long other examples. But these are just a few quick ones,’ Trump asserted.
He said as an aside, ‘I’ll tell you what the worst thing that ever happened with Russia is when I won the election. That’s the worst thing.’
‘It is time for us to replace the politics of anger and destruction with a real debate about the real issues,’ Trump continued. ‘And we want honest coverage from the media. That’s all we want,’ he said to cheers.
He later slammed journalists covering his rally as ‘fake news’ and condemned what he characterized as ‘false reporting’ about his latest Supreme Court justice. He also resumed his attacks on national Democrats like ‘Crooked Hillary’ and ‘Cryin’ Chuck Schumer’ in riled up remarks in which he claimed the opposing party wants to implement socialism.
‘Under Republican leadership., America is booming, America is thriving, and America is winning, because we are putting America first. So true. We’re putting America first,’ he repeated. ‘When have you heard that last?’
Trump pivoted from the slogan to his defense of his self-described nationalism, which he has been defending all week after deploying the term for the first time at a rally on Monday night in Houston.
‘I said the other day, “I’m not a globalist, I’m a nationalist,” he said amid a flood of cheers that drowned the last part of his sentence out. ‘I’m for us. And you know what we’re gonna help the globe, but we have to help ourselves, as well. So unfair what’s been happening to our country for 25 years and longer.’
Democrats, on the other hand, want give away American’s hard-earned money to illegal immigrants, he claimed.
‘If Nancy Pelosi and Cryin’ Chuck Schumer,’ he said to loud boos. ‘Can you imagine Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi?’ he said playing up the possibility that the California Democrat would return to the seat of power if her party wins Congress.
‘But if Pelosi and Cryin’ Chuck Schumer, you remember him? I’ve known him a long time, he never came close to cryin’ except one particular night,’ the president said, alluding to Election Day two years prior. ‘If the radical Democrats get control, they will try to erase every single thing that we’ve achieved.’
Too incessant booing from the audience, Trump proclaimed: ‘Democrats want to raise you taxes. They want to oppose socialism – that’s what they want. They want to take away your Second Amendment. Take away your strong healthcare that we’re making stronger and stronger every single day.’
He said they also want to ‘invite caravan after caravan of illegal aliens into our country and they want to sign them up for free health care, free welfare, free education, and for the right to vote’ in American elections.
As he spoke later about Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, the president mentioned his 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton. The ex-senator, first lady and Democratic nominee for president was this week a target of the liberal bombing campaign.
‘Lock her up,’ the crowd chanted in response to his claim that she’s ‘crooked.’ He told them coyly, ‘Oh boy, they’e gonna be reporting about you tonight.’
Just prior to leaving the White House on Friday he said he had not called her or any of the other targets. He said he doubted that they wanted to hear from him. He also claimed not to have viewed images that established mass bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc was a fervent supporter of his, and bashed the ‘unfair’ media for its election coverage.
Asked about the arrest of the Trump-loving suspect, the president also tried to shift the narrative by pointing to the man who shot GOP Rep. Steve Scalise last year. The shooter was a supporter of liberal Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The president relied on understatement to describe the political posture of Sayoc, who lived in a van plastered with multiple images of the president and red targets over political enemies like Hillary Clinton.
Trump said he ‘heard he was a person that preferred me over others’ when asked about Sayoc after his profile had already begun to emerge following his capture in a nationwide manhunt.
He spoke hours after Attorney General Jeff Sessions described Soyoc as a ‘partisan’ and FBI Director Christopher Wray described a plan to construct 13 IEDs, which were mail and delivered to Democrats including President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton along with other critics of the president.
Wray nevertheless declined to describe a motive at this early date.
Astonishingly, Trump claimed not to have same images – broadcast around the country – of the White van, which had stickers that said ‘CNN Sucks,’ multiple pictures of Trump, the GOP elephant, and multiple Democrats pictured in a ‘Drain the swamp’ portion.
‘I did not see my face on the van,’ said Trump.
‘I did not see my face on the van,’ said President Trump, describing the vehicle belonging to bomb suspect Cesar Altier Sayoc, accused of targeting Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and others
A driver snapped a photo of this van, believed to belong to Sayoc. The van is seen covered in stickers expressing support for Trump, and disdain for his liberal critics
SEAL OF APPROVAL: The white van had pictures of President Trump’s face on multiple windows
Authorities covered the van in a blue tarp during transport as they continue their investigation.
The president, who has been under fire for his hot political rhetoric, including calling a Montana congressman who assaulted a reporter last year ‘my guy,’ also said he was not remotely responsible for the actions of the suspect.
Trump has called out political violence in the days since the proliferation of bombs and called for national unity.
In his brief remarks Friday before heading off to a campaign rally in Charlotte, Trump pointed to the shooting of the House Majority Whip a well-liked figure who has himself called out political violence of all kinds following the shooting.
Trump got asked if he was to blame and if it bothered him at all.
‘There’s no blame. There’s no anything. If you look at what happened to Steve Scalise, that was from a supporter of a different party,’ Trump said.
‘You look at what happened on numerous of these incidents, there were supporters of others. No. I’m just really proud of law enforcement. I think they did an incredible job,’ he added.
Scalise shooter James Hodgkinson, who severely injured the lawmaker, had ranted online about Republicans and was a supporter of Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Also shot were two Capitol police officers, a lobbyist, and an aide.
He posted a photograph of himself wearing a MAGA hat in front of the US Capitol in 2017
A number of hats with the American flag, the University of North Carolina logo and Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan could be seen on the dashboard of the van as it was transported away from the scene by law enforcement
The van believed to be owned by bombing suspect Ceser Sayoc is transferred to the FBI Headquarter in Miramar Florida Man arrested in connection with mailing of suspicious packages, Plantation, Florida
Sanders said in a floor speech after the revelations that he was ‘sickened’ by the discovery.
‘I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign,’ Sanders said.
Cesar Altier Sayoc (PICTURED) who was taken into custody on Friday morning in Plantation, Florida in connection with the 12 suspicious packages that have been discovered this week. Dubbed the MAGA Bomber – his van was also seized adorned with images of both his democratic targets as well as support for President Trump and Mike Pence
Trump went after the media and brought up the man who shot GOP Rep. Steve Scalise
‘I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values,’ Sanders added.
Hodkinson had written on Facebook: ”Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy,” and: ‘It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.’
Cesar Altier Sayoc, 56, was taken into custody on Friday morning in Plantation, Florida in connection with the 14 suspicious packages that have been discovered this week.
According to Sayoc’s Facebook page, he is a Trump fan who posted pictures and videos of himself at one of the President’s rallies in October 2016.
He posted a photograph of himself wearing a MAGA hat in front of the U.S. Capitol in 2017.
He was a registered Republican and his politics appeared to revolve entirely around Trump, with no apparent political registration prior to the 2016 election.
A van impounded in Paradise, believed to be Sayoc’s, was covered densely with stickers expressing pro-Trump sentiments and denigrating prominent Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who were among those who had pipe bombs addressed to them this week.
Another sticker proclaimed ‘CNN Sucks.’ The cable network had two of the suspicious packages addressed to its headquarters in Manhattan.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at his Friday press conference that Sayoc ‘appears to be a partisan’ but declined to comment further on a possible motive.
‘This is a law and order administration. We will not tolerate such lawlessness, especially political violence,’ Sessions said.
Sayoc is charged with five federal crimes, including interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against a former president, threatening interstate communications, and assaulting current and former federal officers.
Asked at the White House whether he would tone down his rhetoric, Trump responded: ‘Well, I think I’ve been toned down, if you want to know the truth. I could really tone it up, because the media has been extremely unfair to me and to the Republican Party.’
Asked to elaborate, Trump said: ‘I think the media has been very, very unfair in terms of the Republican Party and the way it’s been covered. And they understand that. They write articles about that. Many of them admit that. But the media has been unbelievably unfair to Republicans, conservatives, and certainly to me.