While some have linked President Donald Trump’s with the pipe bomb mail attacks last week, Vice President Mike Pence doesn’t see a connection.
According to a Time report, Pence believes that President Trump is in no way responsible for fanning the flames that led to 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc allegedly creating and sending the working bombs to 13 places.
Pence told ABC White House Correspondent Tara Palmeri, “Look, the reality is the people responsible are the people responsible. And what the President and I stand for, and I think every American stands for, is that threats or acts of political violence from anyone, anywhere, for any reason should not be allowed.”
Most recently, Trump praised Republican Greg Gianforte for bodyslamming Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs who asked him questions, according to ABC News. At a campaign rally in Montana, the president said, “Any guy that can do a body slam — he’s my kind of guy.” Gianforte pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges resulting from the altercation.
Later, Trump doubled down on his comments and insisted that he does not regret praising the violent behavior toward reporters. He even referred to Gianforte as a “tough cookie.”
According to Pence, Trump was merely telling a joke when he appeared to praise Gianforte for violence. The vice president said, “Well, I mean, clearly the President was joking in Montana. And I think the President and I both are frustrated from time to time with the fact that many in the media focus on the negative and don’t tell the whole story of what’s happening all across this country.”
I agree wholeheartedly! https://t.co/ndzu0A30vU
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2018
Last week after Pence tweeted a message flat out condemning the attempted pipe bomb attacks and praising the Secret Service along with the FBI and local law enforcement who acted quickly to thwart the bombs, the president simply retweeted and wrote three words expressing his agreement.
Just days later, the suspect, Robert Bowers, allegedly opened fire at the Tree of Life Synagogue killing 11 people and wounding six others.
Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, Republican, said the terrible events are “a tragic manifestation of divisive, mean and intolerant civic leadership.” He went on to say that he felt concerned with the leadership that led to this type of violence.
The president tweeted far more in response to the murder of 11 Jewish Americans than he did about the pipe bombs. He decried it as evil and anti-Semitic and called for unity in conquering hate. However, he also insinuated that the synagogue should have had armed guards protecting its worshippers. The president’s response to the latest attack at the synagogue is far different than his response to the pipe bombs attacks.
It appears as if Pence stands by the president’s divisive comments, and he does not see a connection between Trump’s words and the recent violence against reporters, political enemies, and those who are perceived as different.