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President Donald Trump on Friday slammed the media’s “unfair coverage” of the recent bomb scares, at the same time that he called for a more positive tone in political rhetoric at a campaign rally in North Carolina.
Trump is campaigning in Charlotte in support of Rep. Ted Budd and GOP candidate Mark Harris.
Friday’s rally comes hours after a Florida man was arrested in connection with more than a dozen pipe bombs sent to CNN and prominent Democrats who have criticized the president. The man arrested is a fervent Trump supporter with an extensive police record.
Addressing the bombings, President Trump said, “As you know the suspect has been captured, and is now in federal custody. These terrorist actions must be prosecuted,” he said, as he applauded local, state and federal authorities, saying that they’d done “an incredible job finding a needle in a haystack.”
“Political violence must never be allowed in America. Everyone will benefit if we can end the politics of personal destruction,” he added, and called for everyone to unify, particularly the media, which “has a major role to play whether they want to or not,” to which the audience booed.
“The media’s constant unfair coverage and negative attacks only serve to drive people apart and to undermine healthy debate,” said Trump, using the coverage of the bombs as an example. “The media has tried to attack the incredible Americans who support our movement,” he added, while saying he never blames Democrats when people destroy public property and unleash “mayhem.”
The pro-Trump crowd broke into boos when he denounced negative media coverage and there were loud chants of “CNN sucks!”
The president’s comments came after earlier in the day, while speaking to the Young Black Leadership Summit, he assured everyone that “these terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country” and thanked the media in the room at the time.
Trump has been working to boost vulnerable Republicans ahead of the Nov. 6 elections that will determine which party controls Congress. Budd is a first-term congressman facing Democrat Kathy Manning. Harris upset Rep. Robert Pittenger in a May GOP primary and faces Democrat Dan McCready.
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