NORTH CAROLINA, U.S. – Following the arrest of one of his supporters, identified as Cesar Sayoc, who was nabbed by FBI investigators in relation to the bomb case, the U.S. President Donald Trump delivered his first public reaction while addressing a political rally in North Carolina.
Trump told supporters gathered at the rally in Charlotte that the U.S. news media and his Democratic opponents had used the bomb case to score political points against him.
Trump’s comments came after 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc was arrested in Florida on federal charges over mailing at least 14 pipe bombs to some of Trump’s leading critics.
Sayoc, who is a part-time pizza deliveryman, grocery worker, former stripper and professional wrestler was arrested on Friday following a four-day manhunt after the packages with bombs were delivered to leading Democrats.
Following FBI’s announcement on Sayoc’s arrest, Trump addressed a political rally in Charlotte and told followers that political violence must never be tolerated.
The U.S. President declared, “I will do all I can to stop it.”
However, he also took aim at his usual targets and accused the news media and his Democratic opponents of using the bomb case to score political points against him.
Trump said, “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.”
Commenting on the news coverage in the country following the revelation about the suspect’s political affiliation and his targeting of the President’s critics, Trump blamed the media for stirring up anger and hateful political rhetoric.
Trump’s comments drew cries of “CNN sucks” from the crowd.
The President further said of the news media, “And they do have a major role to play as far as tone. The media’s constant unfair coverage… and negative attacks only serve to drive people apart and to undermine healthy debate.”
Trump also used the campaign rally to criticize Democrats, even attacking his 2016 Presidential election rival Hillary Clinton on Friday night.
Trump cited a case from 2017 and argued that Republicans did not try to seek political gain over the Democrats in 2017, when a supporter of democratic socialist Bernie Sanders opened fire on congressional Republicans at a baseball field.
The attacker left Representative Steve Scalise severely injured.
The U.S. President said, “We did not use that heinous attempt at mass murder for political gain because that would have been wrong. … Nor do we blame the Democrat party every time radical leftists seize and destroy public property and unleash violence and mayhem.”
He then referred to Clinton as “Crooked Hillary,” and drew chants of “lock her up” from the crowd.
Clinton was one of the targets of one of the bombs sent this week.
The bomb addressed to the former Democratic Presidential candidate was intercepted during a routine off-site mail screening.