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President Donald Trump is calling on the country to come together after a series of packages containing pipe bombs were sent to former Democratic officials and CNN, but he’s also pointing a finger at the media.
Trump said Wednesday as he kicked off a rally in Wisconsin: “We want all sides to come together in peace and harmony.”
But he said the media “has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories.”
Trump frequently labels stories he doesn’t like as “fake news.” The president called for a new level of civility, saying those “engaged in the political arena” must “stop threatening political opponents as being morally defective.”
Early Thursday, Trump also continued to blame the media for the climate of anger in the U.S.
“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,” the president wrote on Twitter. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”
CNN’s Anderson Cooper called out Trump following his remarks, saying that he was “speaking quite hypocritically,” adding that it was notable that the president mentioned suspicious packages sent to former government officials but “made no mention of an explosive device sent to this building behind me, the headquarters of CNN, a news organization he routinely attacks.”
“He calls reporters the ‘enemy of the American people,'” Cooper continued, “and yet he said it’s the media’s fault for the kind of reporting that media organizations have been doing.”
Trump has repeatedly blasted his political opponents as criminals and argued that Democrats will destroy the country if they win control of Congress.
The attempted bomb attacks against former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, CNN and others were also front-and-center at the preshow of the Wisconsin rally.
But Trump’s rally crowd still jeered Clinton and the press.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker both addressed the attempted attacks, with Ryan calling them an “act of terrorism” that has no place in our democracy.
But other speakers still singled out Obama and the press in their remarks, prompting boos.
The crowd also erupted at one point into a familiar “Lock her up!” chant directed at Clinton, Trump’s 2016 rival.
The pipe bombs targeted prominent Democrats, but did not cause any injuries.
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