In an early morning tweet, President Donald Trump lambasted CNN, deriding their ratings while simultaneously throwing out charges of hypocrisy against the network.
Trump’s rant, which occurred at 3:14 a.m. Eastern Time, came after 10 packages containing explosive devices were discovered being sent to individuals who have been critical of the president. Two more packages were discovered on Friday morning, per reporting from Mic, as the devices were intercepted before reaching the former head of the Department of National Intelligence James Clapper as well as current U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey).
“Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticize me at will, even blaming me for the current spate of Bombs and ridiculously comparing this to September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing, yet when I criticize them they go wild and scream, ‘it’s just not Presidential!'” Trump wrote early on Friday morning.
Some have suggested that Trump’s rhetoric is partly to blame, according to reporting from USA Today, especially since whoever is sending these packages seems to be targeting individuals Trump himself has lashed out against in tweets, speeches, or other statements. Federal and local officials investigating the attempted acts of terrorism haven’t yet explained if a confirmed motive has been established.
The president isn’t the only person lashing out at CNN — his son, Donald Trump Jr., also made remarks against the network after White House correspondent Jim Acosta mentioned how the president had not taken responsibility for his own rhetoric while originally blaming the media for producing negative news reports about him in the wake of the first round of packages being found.
“Jim, did you or your colleagues take any responsibility for your rhetoric in constantly calling my family Racists and Nazis for 2 years when my wife actually opened an exploding envelope of white powder intended for me?” the president’s son asked Thursday on Twitter. “What about when it happened [sic] to my brother?”
Acosta responded to those remarks. “Don please understand everybody at CNN was terrified for members of your family when they were attacked,” he said.
“Please also understand that because of your father’s rhetoric (calling us the enemy of the people), we are all very worried that somebody is going to get hurt.”
Trump has, in fact, made spirited remarks against individuals he views as his political adversaries for quite some time. In August 2017 for instance, his campaign even released an advertisement that suggested both Democrats and the news media were “the president’s enemies,” according to reporting from TIME.
Many Americans do believe that Trump’s rhetoric carries with it the potential for dangerous consequences. Per a previous reporting from the Inquisitr, a recent poll of young people found that 6 in 10 Americans ages 18-34 believed that the president’s harsh words actually encourages violence against members of the media.