President Trump on Sunday night cast blame on the “fake news” media for the “division and hatred” plaguing the U.S. after a week that saw an attempted bomber target prominent Democrats and a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
“The Fake News is doing everything in their power to blame Republicans, Conservatives and me for the division and hatred that has been going on for so long in our Country,” Trump tweeted. “Actually, it is their Fake & Dishonest reporting which is causing problems far greater than they understand!”
The Fake News is doing everything in their power to blame Republicans, Conservatives and me for the division and hatred that has been going on for so long in our Country. Actually, it is their Fake & Dishonest reporting which is causing problems far greater than they understand!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2018
Trump’s comments came one day after a shooter killed 11 congregants at a Pittsburgh synagogue in what was reportedly the deadliest attack against Jews in U.S. history.
Trump has sought to deflect responsibility for the recent violence as Democrats and critics have hit him over his divisive and inflammatory rhetoric.
CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker on Wednesday tore into President Trump and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for their sustained attacks on the press after the network’s New York City office received an explosive device in the mail.
“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.
Vice President Pence during an interview aired Sunday said he doesn’t think the violence can be connected to Trump’s rhetoric.
“Look, everyone has their own style, and frankly, people on both sides of the aisle use strong language about our political differences, but I just don’t think you can connect it to threats or acts of violence,” Pence said on NBC. “And I don’t think the American people connect it.”
The accused bomber, Cesar Sayoc, reportedly drove around in a van plastered with pro-Trump, anti-CNN and anti-liberal stickers.
People close to Sayoc in recent days have told multiple media outlets that he was radicalized during the 2016 presidential election, when he found a “father” in Trump. His social media accounts suggest that he was uninterested in politics until Trump rose to prominence. In the years since Trump’s election, Sayoc posted increasingly frenzied and violent right-wing conspiracy theories involving some of the same Democratic figures that he targeted with pipe bombs.
All of the individuals and groups Sayoc targeted have frequently drawn public mockery and aggression from Trump and his allies, including former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).