Despite calls for him to cool his overheated rhetoric after the deadly synagogue shooting and pipe bomb mailings, President Trump on Monday continued his assault on the news media by once again branding them as the “Enemy of the People” and accusing them of stoking rage.
“There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly,” he wrote to his more than 55 million Twitter followers. .
“That will do much to put out the flame of Anger and Outrage and we will then be able to bring all sides together in Peace and Harmony. Fake News Must End!,” the president posted, just two days after 11 people were gunned down by a man yelling “all Jews must die” at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
The tweets also come three days after Cesar Sayoc was arrested for sending 14 pipe bombs through the postal system to CNN and a number of prominent Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, his Vice President Joe Biden, and Trump’s 2016 presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton — all outspoken critics of Trump’s.
A number of Democratic and Republican lawmakers made the rounds of the Sunday news shows to call for unity and encourage the president to tamp down his name-calling and attacks on the media.
After Monday’s tweet, more politicians weighed in.
Sen. Chris Murphy encouraged people to send Trump a message next Tuesday by voting in the midterm elections.
“This is, for all practical purposes, a call for more violence against the press. My god….what is happening???,” the Connecticut Democrat wrote on Twitter.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said instigating indignation isn’t a successful political strategy.
“History offers numerous examples of social & political movements built primarily on tapping into & stoking anger. To varying degrees they had some early success, but none of them ended well,” Rubio said on Twitter. “And many of them caused great suffering & tragedy on the way down.”
Republican Rep. Ryan Costello said there are many things “shaking up the hornet’s nest” and Trump’s comments are among them – especially for Democrats.
“In the grand scheme of things if you were to subsequently ask me, ‘Does he quell or exacerbate?’ I would say he oftentimes exacerbates,” Costello of Pennsylvania said during a panel hosted by Politico.
Jim Sciutto, a reporter for CNN – which was a target of several of the pipe bombs, including another suspicious package found Monday that was intended for its Atlanta headquarters – said he and other journalists are just doing their jobs.
“Mr. President @realDonaldTrump I watched my team escorted out of our NY HQ five days ago as the NYPD isolated a bomb in our building. We reported the facts, as we always do,” he posted on Twitter. “We are not fake news. We are journalists doing our jobs as best we can every day.”
Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway said the president is “trying to heal the country.”
“The president’s not trying to reach his base by denouncing anti-Semitism and asking everybody to rise above hate, he’s being the president of all Americans,” she said on CNN.
Trump condemned the synagogue shooting as “pure evil.”
“There must be no tolerance for anti-Semitism in America or for any form of religious or racial hatred or prejudice,” he said during a rally Saturday in Illinois.