Media used pipe bomb scare to score political points, Trump says
Trump previously dismissed the notion that he bears any responsibility for the crude pipe bombs mailed to high-profile Democrat figures, including former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Attorney General Eric Holder, as well as big party donor George Soros and the CNN headquarters. A total of 13 such explosive devices have been discovered so far, but none actually exploded.
Speaking at a rally in Charlotte, NC, Trump accused the media of working hard to make him look guilty.
We have seen an effort by the media in the recent hours to use sinister actions of one individual to score points against me and the Republican party.
The suspect, Cesar Sayoc, 56, was apprehended on Friday and is facing up to 46 years in jail for five federal crimes. Sayoc, who has a vast criminal record, including making bomb threats, was reportedly an ardent supporter of Trump, attended Make America Great Again (MAGA) rallies and had his van plastered with pro-Trump slogans and anti-Democratic stickers.
Trump compared the mail bomber to the shooter who wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) during Congress baseball practice in June 2017. Several people were injured in the shootout and Scalise was on the edge of death when he was taken to hospital.
Yet when a Bernie Sanders supporter tried to murder congressional Republicans and severely wounded Steve Scalise and others we did not use that heinous attempt at mass murder for political gain, because that would have been wrong.
Trump appeared to blame the media for creating a divisive environment and fueling the attacks. "Everyone will benefit if we can end the politics of personal destruction," he said.
Before the suspect was arrested, Trump took to Twitter to lament that the bomb scare had consumed all the news coverage, distracting Americans from the upcoming mid-term elections. In his tweet, he referred to the plot as "this "Bomb" stuff."
Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this “Bomb” stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows - news not talking politics. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2018
While there were reports that some of the devices might have been dummies, FBI Director Christopher Wray told the media on Friday that the IEDs were real, albeit rudimentary pipe bombs. Since none detonated, however, it's unclear whether the suspected intended them as threats or just botched their construction.
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