On Monday morning, after a week marred by what is believed to be the worst massacre of Jews in American history and the threat of bomb packages sent to nearly a dozen prominent Democrats, President Trump blamed the media for part of the "great anger" in the nation.
"There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news," the president tweeted at 8:03 a.m. Monday. "The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly. That will do much to put out the flame.......of Anger and Outrage and we will then be able to bring all sides together in Peace and Harmony. Fake News Must End!"
The president had already, both in a carefully-crafted Twitter statement and in remarks at the 91st Annual Future Farmers of America Convention And Expo Saturday, specifically condemned the murder of 11 Jewish worshippers on Saturday as an anti-Semitic act.
In scripted speeches in recent days, the president has struck a tone of unity. But on Twitter, amid criticisms that he has failed to sufficiently condemn racial or political hatred, such as in the wake of the, the president has taken to condemning the media for the current atmosphere.
On Friday, after the serial bomb suspect was arrested, the president, getting on stage in the White House East Room and reading from a teleprompter, declared, "We reject the politics of division and we embrace the unity of being American." Only hours earlier, the president tweeted his grievances against CNN, where two of the bomb packages were sent.
"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!'" the president tweeted Friday morning.
Mr. Trump even claimed this "'bomb' stuff" was hurting GOP momentum, urging Republicans to get out and vote.
"Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this 'Bomb' stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows - news not talking politics. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!" he tweeted.
Two days earlier, when the reports of suspicious packages began to emerge, the president, also in the White House East Room in a scripted speech, urged the American people "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," the commander-in-chief said.
Yet the next morning, he took to Twitter, declaring, "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!"
Asked last week if the president will stop attacking the Democrats who were mailed the packages, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the president will continue to highlight how Republicans and Democrats differ ahead of next week's midterm elections.
"Look, the president's going to continue to lay out the contrast between Democrats and Republicans," Sanders told reporters outside the White House.
Mr. Trump answered that question himself when he took to Twitter Sunday to assail liberal fundraiser and billionaire Tom Steyer, one of the Democrats who was targeted with a suspicious package.
"Just watched Wacky Tom Steyer, who I have not seen in action before, be interviewed by @jaketapper," the president tweeted on Sunday. "He comes off as a crazed & stumbling lunatic who should be running out of money pretty soon. As bad as their field is, if he is running for President, the Dems will eat him alive!"
Even Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, pressed by CBS News' John Dickerson on "Face the Nation," acknowledged that the president doesn't always practice what he preaches when it comes to unity.
"Sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't,"asked if the president practices unifying politics.
Onetime White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday morning the rhetoric needs to be "dialed back on both sides," but "good leadership requires somebody to go first. And I'd like it to be him."
But the president surmised he's been pretty subdued with his language. Asked by reporters on Friday if he'll tone down his rhetoric, the president responded, "Well, I think I've been toned down, if you want to know the truth. I could really tone it up."
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