U.S. President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to address the tone of the political rhetoric – blaming the media for “inaccurate reporting.”
The tweet comes as two other suspected bombs were found in a packages addressed to Robert DeNiro and Joe Biden Thursday morning. The device was similar to the ones sent to other prominent Democrats including former president Barack Obama and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, as well as cable news network CNN.
“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. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”
The tweet continues his tone from Wednesday night, when Trump also addressed the media at a Wisconsin rally.
“The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories.”
Former CIA director John Brennan, to whom one of the bombs was addressed, responded to Trump’s tweet – telling him to “stop blaming others.”
“Look in the mirror. Your inflammatory rhetoric, insults, lies, & encouragement of physical violence are disgraceful,” Brennan, who now is a commentator for MSNBC, wrote on Twitter. “Clean up your act….try to act Presidential. The American people deserve much better. BTW, your critics will not be intimidated into silence.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the notion that Trump is responsible for the packages sent to his opponents is “disgraceful.”
She told reporters Thursday there’s a big difference between “comments made and actions taken.”
During the rally, Trump also called for unity and asked for both sides of the political divide to “come together in peace and harmony.”
That echoes what others said about the at least eight pipe bombs that were sent to Democrats.
“It’s a time of deep divisions, we need to do everything we can to bring our country together,” Hillary Clinton, who was also targeted in the wave of bombs sent in the mail, said Wednesday.
New York Mayor Bill De Blaisio also condemned the tone of recent political rhetoric saying “the way to stop that is to turn down the temperature,” adding that change has “to come from the top,” but didn’t mention Trump directly.
Despite Trump’s message of unity, CNN chief Jeff Zucker said Wednesday that Trump failed to understand the seriousness of his constant attacks on the media.
Sanders also criticized CNN, whose New York bureau also received a bomb, for that comment saying “you choose to attack and divide.”
“@realDonaldTrump asked Americans ‘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 USA,’” she wrote on Twitter. “Yet you chose to attack and divide. America should unite against all political violence.”
— With files from Rahul Kalvapalle and the Associated Press