It’s unclear who sent packages containing suspected explosive devices to the Clintons, Obamas, George Soros, and CNN, but some in the media are already sure Republican rhetoric is responsible.
NBC reporter Ben Collins said that these packages shouldn’t be written off as the work of an extremist fringe, but rather mainstream Republican media outlets like Fox News and talk radio.
“There will be a rush to pin these mailbombs on extremist talking points from fringe websites like 4chan and Qanon-adjacent communities on Reddit and Facebook,” the NBC News reporter tweeted, “But Soros, Obama and the Clintons have been viewed as the root of all evil on talk radio and Fox News for over a decade.”
On MSNBC, correspondents have been insinuating the suspicious packages’ can be tied back to Trump, in that the intended recipients have all been criticized by the president. The package sent to CNN was addressed to former CIA director, John Brennan, whom NBC’s Hans Nichols noted recently had his security clearance stripped at Trump’s behest.
“All of these people seem to have something in common,” MSNBC’s Craig Melvin said. “We know that CIA Director Brennan has also been a critic here, a vocal critic of the Trump Administration.”
"Yeah, I mean, the targets are fairly obvious,” MSNBC’s Clint Watts replied. “They've all been either brought up by the president or were opponents of him in different contexts.”
On CNN, White House Correspondent Jeff Zeleny likewise connected the threats back to Trump.
“Certainly a question for the president and the White House, is his rhetoric and his supporters that have been giving out, in these several weeks leading up to the elections, is that connected to any of this?” he asked. Zeleny also said those receiving bombs were criticized by Trump.
“The president is being briefed on this,” Zeleny reported. “So far they’re not saying we’re asking if he has a comment to the sense that all these packages are being sent to all these places he has criticized. As we’ve covered the rallies across the country, the rhetoric is extraordinarily intense. 13 days before the midterm elections. Indeed, it has been for a long time. We do not know if there is a correlation or not, but we are asking the White House for the president’s view on the rhetoric specifically. If he has an answer, we’ll let you know.”
On ABC, the hosts of “The View” said “it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes” to connect the attacks to Trump.
“I've been texting with my former colleagues at CNN and they're scared. And one colleague — former colleague said, ‘This is what happens when the president calls you the enemy of the people’,“ Sonny Hostin said.
When Hostin’s co-panelist, Abby Huntsman, said it’s too soon to draw inferences, Hostin shot back: “Why didn’t Fox News get the bomb?” And Joy Behar said, “You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes,” to connect this to the president.
On CNN, Wolf Blitzer reported that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Florida office was being evacuated. As of this report, it’s unclear why, but Blitzer nonetheless drew a link to Trump. In reporting the breaking news, Blitzer mentioned that she was “another sharp critic of the president.”
On MSNBC, the former Hillary Clinton aide and deputy secretary of state under President Obama, Philippe Reines, said “There is no human being more responsible for the climate we’re in than” Trump:
On an MSNBC panel, two former congressmen, Reps. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and Dave Jolly (Fla.) said Trump had given “license” for people to commit political violence.
The New York Times’ Jeremy Peters said Trump’s rhetoric is behind these attacks.
“Let’s not pretend as if the president didn’t say or imply the other night that George Soros was behind the funding for this caravan of migrants coming up that was about ready to invade the southern border of the United States, right,” Peters said on MSNBC. “In the same speech, in which the president said I have admiration for the guy who body slammed the reporter … I don’t think that you can pretend that these things are not connected when a bomb shows up at George Soros’ house.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper likewise connected the attacks to Trump, saying of the intended targets: “These are people and organizations that president Trump continually attacks, demonizes.”