Donald Trump called for “all sides to come together in peace and harmony” in the wake of Wednesday’s bomb scares — then returned to one of his favorite opponents: the media.
Ignoring his own history of inflammatory rhetoric, the president called on the press “to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative — and oftentimes, false — attacks and stories.”
“They’ve got to stop, bring people together,” he said at a rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin, hours after pipe bombs were sent to prominent Democrats and the New York offices of CNN.
“No nation can succeed that tolerates violence or the threat of violence as a method of political intimidation, coercion or control,” Trump said, condemning the foiled attacks. He then appeared to take aim at the Democrats, criticizing those who “carelessly compare political opponents to historical villains.”
Authorities are investigating the source of the pipe bombs that were mailed late Tuesday to Hillary and Bill Clinton, former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as Rep. Maxine Waters.
The devices resembled the one mailed earlier this week to the New York address of the liberal donor George Soros, who is a favorite target of the right.
Trump was criticized Wednesday, most notably by CNN chief Jeff Zucker, for his repeated attacks on the media, including calling the press “the enemy of the American people” and praising physical attacks on journalists, as he did again this week.
At the Wisconsin rally, he made light of the suggestion that he should tone down his rhetoric.
“I'm trying to be nice,” he joked. “Do you see how nice I'm behaving tonight?” As evidence of this, he claimed he was modulating criticism of Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who he nevertheless described as a “radical far-left opponent.”
“You know, I’m trying to say that very nicely,” he said. “Normally I’d scream, ‘They want a socialist takeover!’”
On Thursday, Trump resumed his attacks on the media through his Twitter account, tweeting that "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. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description."
Cover image: Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally for Leah Vukmir, a Republican Senate candidate from Wisconsin, not pictured, in Mosinee, Wisconsin, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)