President Donald Trump said on Friday said he would refuse to “tone down” his rhetoric despite the arrest earlier in the day of one of his supporters who was charged with mailing pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and critics of the president.
The following tweet was posted by ABC News reporter Cecilia Vega on Friday afternoon:
“I just asked @realDonaldTrump if he would pledge to tone down his rhetoric over the next few days ahead of the midterms. His answer: no.”
I just asked @realDonaldTrump if he would pledge to tone down his rhetoric over the next few days ahead of the midterms. His answer: no.
— Cecilia Vega (@CeciliaVega) October 26, 2018
On Friday night, Trump held another one of this signature campaign rallies in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“When Mr. Trump took the stage at the Bojangles’ Coliseum, hours after Sayoc, a Florida man with a lengthy criminal record, was arrested in connection to sending the devices, chants of ‘Build the wall’ and ‘CNN sucks’ had already rung out repeatedly,” The Times noted.
Sayoc had attended at least one of Trump’s combative “Make America Great Again” rallies, where the suspected bomber waved a “CNN Sucks” sign.
“As they have for months, CNN journalists at the rally on Friday night worked alongside hired security guards,” The Times reported.
The Washington Post put online an article about the Charlotte rally late on Friday night. Although he said he was against political violence, the president also continued to blame the media. As The Post reported:
“With the nation on edge in the wake of a mail-bomb plot targeted at more than a dozen Democratic Party officials and supporters, Trump opened his remarks by pledging to do “everything in my power to stop” politically motivated attacks. Police have tied the bombs to a Trump supporter, Cesar Sayoc of Florida, and Trump said the perpetrator must be “prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Everyone will benefit if we can end the politics of personal destruction. We must unify as a nation in peace love and harmony,” the president said. But as he has in the past several days, Trump quickly pivoted to blaming the media for what he described as unfair coverage of him and his Republican allies.
“We do not blame the Democrat party for the radical, leftists who destroy public property and unleash violence and mayhem,” he continued. “The media try to attack incredible Americans who are trying to support our movement trying to give power back to the people.”
With just ten days until the midterm elections, Donald Trump is trying to fire up his base of supporters to stave off a defeat for the Republican Party. He focused many of his remarks on the dangers of illegal immigration and the threat to the nation posed by the migrant caravan coming from Central America. He said he planned to send 1,000 troops to protect the southern border, and the crowd cheered him on.
Clearly Donald Trump does not believe he holds any responsibility for the actions of Sayoc or anyone else who has resorted to political violence. However, the majority of American voters may have a different opinion. And on November 6th we will find out.