CNN employees were evacuated from their offices in New York city on Thursday night, just over a half hour after the president made malicious claims on his Twitter account against the “fake news” media.
The threats against the network this week came less than two months after suspicious packages were sent there by a man with anti-media beliefs, forcing the staff there to have to leave the building.
CNN reported on its website Thursday evening that its employees were forced out of the building due to an alleged bomb threat that was phoned into their offices. The network went to “taped programming,” the company announced.
In the same evening, President Donald Trump sent out a tweet deriding the press as he has done before in the past.
“FAKE NEWS – THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!” Trump wrote in all capital letters.
The coincidence will likely be noted by pundits and observers, especially those who believe that Trump’s rhetoric is partly responsible for a rise in violent actions in America. Such observations were made by some commentators who noted that a man named Cesar Sayoc, who allegedly sent pipe bomb packages to various lawmakers, progressives, critics of Trump, and CNN, was also an ardent Trump supporter, who had anti-CNN bumper stickers on his van, according to reporting from the Miami Herald.
CNN's New York offices and studios have been evacuated due to a phoned bomb threat, the company says. In the meantime, the network has gone to taped programming. https://t.co/4cR6kjgA20 pic.twitter.com/XqekxFfX0X
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) December 7, 2018
Opinion writer Holly Figueroa O’Reilly noted that the tweet from the president came nearly a half hour before the network was evacuated.
Trump tweeted his remarks about “fake news” at 7:08 p.m., Figueroa O’Reilly noted. “At 7:42 PM, CNN was evacuated.”
At this time, it’s unclear who made the call to the network, and what their motivations were for doing so. Speculation that the network was targeted because of Trump’s tweet, as some like Figueroa O’Reilly have implied, have not been confirmed.
Trump has frequently derided news reports that cast him in a negative light or that he doesn’t otherwise like as being “fake news.” Regularly, however, much of what he’s critical of turns out to be truthful, according to reporting from the Washington Post.
Although some have wondered aloud whether Trump’s rhetoric had inspired Sayoc to send in his threatening mail packages, others clearly have. In September, a man named Robert Chain made threats against the Boston Globe, telling them they’d be met with violence if they continued to report on him in a negative light.
Chain had said that the Globe’s reporting was “treasonous and seditious,” according to reporting from the BBC.