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Donald Trump says media must 'set a civil tone', then describes media as 'bad and hateful'

Trump was reacting to a spate of attempted mail bomb attacks on Democrats.

Source: Global News/YouTube

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has said that “the mainstream media” is to blame for “a very big part of the anger” in society, as US authorities investigate pipe bombs sent to his political opponents.

With midterm elections less than two weeks away, Trump has reacted to the spate of bomb scares by first calling for unity, but then reverting to attacking the media.

The US Secret Service said yesterday it intercepted packages sent to both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and this morning the NYPD bomb squad removed a package sent to Robert DeNiro.

CNN also evacuated its New York bureau yesterday after a suspicious device believed to be a pipe bomb was found in the mail room. 

Speaking about the attempted attacks a campaign rally in Wisconsin last night, the US president called on the media to stop their “endless hostility” and “false attacks”.

Trump began with measured remarks arguing public figures had a duty to tone down their rhetoric — after the top opposition Democrats in Congress accused him of condoning violence and dividing Americans.

“Let’s get along,” Trump said. “By the way, do you see how nice I’m behaving tonight? Have you ever seen this?”

The US president went on to call for a “civil tone” in society, before attacking the media again. 

“No one should carelessly compare political opponents to historical villains, which is done, it’s done all the time,” Trump said.

We should not mob people in public spaces or destroy public property. There is one way to settle our disagreements. It’s called peacefully at the ballot box.

“As part of a larger national effort to bridge our divides and bring people together, the media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and stop the endless hostility and constant negative and often times false attacks and stories,” he added. “Have to do it. They’ve got to stop.”

CNN is known for its robust coverage of the Trump administration and for constantly provoking the ire of the president. Signs at his rallies condemn the network.

The broadcaster’s chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta criticised the Trump last night for not addressing the pipe bombs sent to CNN.

This morning, Trump again sought to blame the media for anger in society, tweeting:

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. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!

- With reporting by © – AFP 2018

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Rónán Duffy

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