People were glued to the news on Wednesday, Oct. 24 as reported suspicious packages were sent to the homes of notable public figures and to news outlet CNN. After the evacuation of the Time Warner Building in New York City, where CNN headquarters are located, it was clear that a threat to the media had been made. While the president initially denounced the apparent attempted attack, he didn't stay on that diplomatic note for long. Donald Trump's tweet about fake news after CNN received "apparent explosive devices" sends the wrong message, and it's so not OK. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for additional comment, but did not immediately hear back.
On Wednesday morning, multiple sources reported that "potential explosive devices" had been sent to the homes of President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton in New York and President Barack Obama's home in Washington, D.C. While the Secret Service intercepted the packages, they also had their hands full with an "apparent live explosive device" addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan at CNN. Analysis carried out by the FBI also reportedly found that the package contained shards of glass and suspicious white powder — which thankfully turned out to be harmless, according CBS News.
Before the president gave a statement on his Twitter, he first retweeted a message sent out by Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday. Following that, Trump also denounced the attacks during his rally in Wisconsin. However, the president's first full tweet on the matter didn't condemn the attacks, as might be expected, but rather leaned on his popular "fake news" rhetoric. In an Oct. 25 tweet, the president blamed the "anger we see today" on the "mainstream media." Trump wrote,
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. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for additional comment, but did not immediately hear back.
It's all particularly ironic after suggestions that the president's rhetoric about his political opponents and the news media may be partly to blame for the attempted attacks. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for additional comment on the president's rhetoric, but did not immediately hear back.
CNN President Jeff Zucker also felt that Trump might be partly to blame. In an Oct. 24 statement, Zucker said the White House doesn't understand that their "continued attacks on the media" have an impact, and the president and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders need to "understand their words matter." Zucker said,
There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media. The president, and especially the White House press secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that.
Sanders responded to Zucker by quoting the president's remarks given before an event on the opioid crisis at the White House on Wednesday, where he said that in times like these "we have to unify" and send the clear message that these sort of violent attacks "have no place in the United States of America." The president's full remarks were,
In these times, we have to unify, we have to come together and send one very clear strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America. This egregious conduct is abhorrent to everything we hold dear and sacred as Americans.
Sanders quoted the president, but added, "Yet you choose to attack and divide. America should unite against political violence."
Unifying "against political violence" seems like that would exclude blaming the media for violent threats against them. At the least, no one has been hurt so far. Let's hope it stays that way.