President Donald Trump has addressed criticism of the way he's reacted to the wave of attempted bomb attacks
President Donald Trump has addressed criticism of the way he’s reacted to the wave of attempted bomb attacks.
In a tweet shared early Friday at 3:14 a.m. ET, Trump complained about “lowly rated CNN” — whose New York City office was among this week’s bomb targets — and unnamed media outlets.
Wrote Trump, 72, “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 reaction on Twitter was swift, with some slamming the early morning tweet as a “tantrum” and “propaganda.” While some users pushed conspiracy theories about the source of the bombs, others called for the president to resign.
At least 12 pipe bombs have been sent in the mail to various influential Democrats over the course of this week. The number increased on Friday after two more suspicious packages were discovered. The FBI confirmed one of them, addressed to Democratic New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker, was similar in appearance to those previously sent, and was intercepted in Florida.
The other, the NYPD told PEOPLE, was discovered at post office facility at 322 W. 52nd street in New York City. The area has since been closed down to vehicle and pedestrian traffic. CNN reported that it was addressed to James Clapper at the news network’s office, the former director of national intelligence, who left the role in 2017.
On Wednesday afternoon, explosive devices were intercepted before reaching former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder. A device addressed to former CIA chief John Brennan was delivered to CNN’s New York headquarters and prompted an evacuation. Officials said the devices addressed to Obama, Clinton and CNN appear to have been sent by the same person, The Washington Post reported.
Days earlier, an explosive device was found in the mailbox of liberal philanthropist George Soros.
And on Thursday, the FBI confirmed on Twitter that two suspicious packages addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden and “similar in appearance” to the others had been intercepted at mail facilities in Delaware. One was found at a postal center in New Castle, the Associated Press reported, and the other at a facility in Wilmington.
RELATED: Suspicious Package Sent to Robert De Niro at N.Y.C. Office After Pipe Bombs Mailed to Other Dems
California Rep. Maxine Waters and actor Robert De Niro were also sent packages on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
On Wednesday, Donald Trump condemned the attempted pipe bomb attacks against multiple Democratic political figures and CNN headquarters and called for national unity. In a press conference, Trump traded in the combative language he normally directs at his political sparring partners to ask both sides of the nation’s political divide to come together against “these despicable acts.”
“I just want to tell you that in these times we have to unify,” he said. “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.”
But the next day, Trump blamed the media for the surge of potentially dangerous mailings — saying the press was at fault for creating divisions in American society.
“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,” he tweeted. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream media must clean up its act, fast!”
Uncovered packages contained pipe bombs packed with shards of glass, authorities have said. All have been disabled by police without any reported injuries. A manhunt is underway for the sender.
“If you have info that could assist the #FBI’s investigation of suspicious packages, call 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324) or use tips.fbi.gov,” the FBI tweeted on Thursday, adding a photo of one of the packages. “If you observe suspicious activity that requires an immediate response, call 911 or contact local law enforcement immediately.”