Donald Trump has blamed the “Mainstream Media” for causing a “very big part of the anger we see today in our society”, the day after a string of explosive devices were sent to high-profile political and media figures.
The President said “the purposefully false and inaccurate reporting” has “gotten so bad and hateful it is beyond description”.
Then, in what sounds like an ultimatum, he added: “Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”
The US has been rocked this week by a series of explosive devices posted to high-profile political figures and a leading news organisation.
And a package addressed to former US vice president Joe Biden, which was intercepted at a Delaware mail centre, was similar to those containing bombs, AP sources said.
Former CIA head John Brennan, a frequent critic of Trump, said: “Look in the mirror. Your inflammatory rhetoric, insults, lies, & encouragement of physical violence are disgraceful. Clean up your act....try to act Presidential.”
He added: “Your critics will not be intimidated into silence”.
The devices have all been addressed to individuals and organisations who have been on the receiving end of Trump’s vitriolic rhetoric.
The others are:
- a package sent to the Time Warner Centre in New York, home of TV news channel CNN, contained a live explosive which police described as a pipe bomb and an envelope containing white powder. The package was addressed to former CIA director John Brennan, an outspoken critic of Donald Trump, who is a periodic contributor to the network
- police intercepted suspected explosive devices sent to former US President Barack Obama and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
- in Florida, the building that houses the office of US Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a former Democratic Party national chairwoman, was evacuated after a suspicious package arrived in the mail
- police intercepted a package addressed to Democratic congresswoman Maxine Waters. The package had been addressed to former Attorney General Eric Holder but the former Democratic Party national chairwoman was listed on the return address
- Democrat Kamala Harris’s San Diego office was evacuated after suspicious packages were found near her building, according to her spokeswoman. The packages were not addressed to Harris or her office
- during a press conference addressing the device mailed to CNN, Democrat New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters that an explosive device had been sent to his office
- the devices are similar to that sent to the billionaire philanthropist and Democrat donor George Soros on Monday
The bomb packages were sent as the nation prepares for 6 November elections that will decide whether Democrats take control of one or both houses of Congress from Republicans and deny Trump the majority his party now holds in both.
As yet there is no indication of who is behind the attempted attacks and no one has claimed responsibility.