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Trump rhetoric blamed for attempted attacks on Clintons, Obama, CNN

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Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Bill Clinton
Democratic
presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, center, is joined on
stage by first lady Michelle Obama, left, President Barack Obama,
second from left, Chelsea Clinton, second from right, and former
President Bill Clinton, right, after speaking at a rally at
Independence Mall in Philadelphia, Monday, Nov. 7,
2016.

AP Photo/Andrew
Harnik


  • Democrats and critics of President Donald Trump are blaming
    Republican leaders for either explicitly or indirectly condoning
    violence against Democrats and the media.
  • It came as packages containing explosive devices were sent by
    mail to high-profile Democrats, including former President Barack
    Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
  • All of those targeted are critics of the president whom Trump
    has in turn attacked relentlessly. 
  • “That someone would seek to kill their political enemies is
    not aberrational but rather the inevitable consequence of Trump’s
    incitement,” former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt tweeted
    Wednesday.

Democrats and critics of President Donald Trump blamed Republican
leaders for either explicitly or indirectly condoning violence
against Democrats and the media.


It came as packages containing e

xplosive
devices
were sent by mail on Wednesday to former Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, and the CNN
offices in New York, while a similar scare came at the home of
George Soros, the billionaire liberal donor and philanthropist,
on Monday.

Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to Obama, doubted that
Republicans, including House Majority Leader Paul Ryan, were
sincere in their condemnations of the attempted violence when
they did little to stop Trump, his supporters, and many other
Republicans demonize and threaten Democratic leaders and the
media. 

“Those behind such reprehensible acts must be brought to justice.
We cannot tolerate any attempt to terrorize public figures,” Ryan
tweeted on Wednesday morning after news broke of the suspicious
packages. 

“It’s hard to take this seriously,” Pfeiffer tweeted in
reference to Ryan’s statement. 

Former CIA Director John Brennan and Florida Rep. Debbie
Wasserman Schultz, the former head of the Democratic National
Committee, also were targeted recipients of the packages. All of
those targeted are critics of the president whom Trump has in
turn attacked relentlessly. 

Obama has
publicly slammed Trump’s attacks
on the press, which the
current president has repeatedly asserted is “the enemy of the
people.” Obama has painted the criticism un-American, while many
others have insisted the characterization poses a danger to
journalists. 

“It shouldn’t be Democratic or Republican to say that we don’t
threaten the freedom of the press because they say things or
publish stories we don’t like,” Obama said during a speech in
Illinois in September. 

Trump has made CNN a particular target of his assault on the
media and regularly calls the cable news network “fake news.”

Democrats also pointed to a popular GOP rallying cry, “Lock her
up!”, which Trump and his allies used to demonize Clinton and
whip up enthusiasm at rallies during the 2016 election. The
president also encouraged his
supporters to physically confront political opponents
on
numerous occasions during the 2016 election. 

Earlier this month, the president called
Democrats “too dangerous to govern” during an Iowa rally. 

Jon Favreau, a former Obama speechwriter, pointed to an
apparent joke
Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, made during
a rally on Monday after an audience member yelled “Lock him up!”
in reference to Cruz’s Democratic challenger, Rep. Beto
O’Rourke. 

Cruz responded, “Well, you know, there’s a double-occupancy cell
with Hillary Clinton,” to which the crowd roared. 

The lawmaker and former presidential candidate added: “Y’all are
gonna get me in trouble with that.”

On Wednesday, Cruz called the attempted attacks on Obama,
Clinton, and Soros “deeply, deeply disturbing.” 

“Political disagreements are fine, even healthy, but we should
always be civil and respect each other’s humanity,” he tweeted.

Other critics of the president were even more clear about where
they lay blame for the attempted violence. 

“Trump has stoked a cold civil war in this Country,”
tweeted
Steve Schmidt, a former GOP strategist who ran Sen.
John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and announced he was

leaving the GOP
earlier this year. “His rallies brim with
menace and he has labeled journalists as enemies of the people.
That someone would seek to kill their political enemies is not
aberrational but rather the inevitable consequence of Trump’s
incitement.” 

Peter Daou, a former top advisor to Hillary Clinton, declared
on Twitter, “THE FAR RIGHT IS VIOLENT.” 

In a statement on Wednesday, the White House condemned “these
terrorizing acts,” and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee
Sanders said,
“it’s okay to disagree in politics, but it’s never okay to take
action against another individual.”

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