Donald Trump’s violent rhetoric is sparking a “cold civil war” that has led his followers to attack political opponents, a former adviser to John McCain claims.
The president has come under fire one day after a series of bombs were found sent to top Democrats, including Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton. More bombs were found on Thursday intended for other frequent targets of Trump, including actor Robert De Niro. As former McCain adviser Steve Schmidt wrote on Twitter, the attacks tie directly back to Trump’s irresponsible rhetoric toward his opponents.
“Trump has stoked a cold civil war in this Country,” Schmidt wrote. “His rallies brim with menace and he has labeled journalists as enemies of the people. That someone would seek to kill their political enemies is not aberrational but rather the inevitable consequence of Trumps incitement.”
Schmidt noted that the targets were not coincidental, as they were all people who had come under direct attack from Trump on Twitter. Schmidt said it appeared that “someone finally took Trump both literally and seriously.”
Others have echoed Schmidt’s concern. Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent claimed that Trump has spent his entire term in office “deliberately and concertedly stoking civil and racial conflict on as many fronts as possible,” and this week’s attempted bombings are the result of that rhetoric.
Trump has spent the last 18 months deliberately and concertedly stoking civil and racial conflict on as many fronts as possible.
Pious Democratic laments about "divisions" and calls for a nicer "tone" just aren't going to cut it anymore.
My new piece: https://t.co/4qb4yQbKrE
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) October 25, 2018
Donald Trump has continued to stoke controversy in his response to the attempted bombings. After saying at a political rally on Wednesday that federal investigators would find the perpetrator and hold them responsible, Trump took aim at the media and claimed that they held a share of the blame.
“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,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description.”
Trump added what appeared to be an ultimatum, saying that “the Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”
The New York offices for the cable news network CNN was a target of the bombing, though on Wednesday the Trump campaign sent out an email attacking CNN as “fake news.” The email was signed by Lara Trump, the wife of Eric Trump, and went to those who signed up for emails from the Trump campaign. As The Hill reported, a campaign official apologized and said that the email had been pre-programmed to go out and was not rescinded after the attempted bombing at the network offices.