In a pre-dawn tweet early Friday morning, President Donald Trump slammed CNN for “blaming” him for the wave of explosive devices that were sent to prominent Democrats and the network’s New York studios this week. The president, who has regularly declared he doesn’t watch CNN, did not provide any evidence to back his 3 a.m. claim.
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!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2018
The president’s claim of blame was likely referring to widespread criticism, after the mailings, of the climate created by his frequent baseless and oftentimes inciting attacks against the media—CNN being one of his favorite punching bags—and his political opponents, most of them Democrats. While a motive behind the attempted bombings remains unclear, those targeted this week—former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, billionaire philanthropist George Soros, former CIA director John Brennan via CNN, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)—have all been vilified in right-wing narratives or featured in conspiracy theories often echoed by Trump.
As the string of suspicious packages was first reported on Wednesday, Trump initially appeared to offer a gentler, bipartisan call for unity. A few hours later in the day, he sounded a different tone, and blamed the media for stoking anger throughout the country.
Meanwhile, some conservatives have openly suggested, without evidence, that the bombing attempts might be a so called “false flag” operation that was staged by elements on the left to boost Democrats ahead of the November midterm elections.