President Donald Trump again bemoaned what he perceives as unfair treatment from the news media on Monday night, nearly a week after the attempted mail-bombings that targeted his political critics and Democratic leaders.
Trump compared his treatment to that of President Barack Obama, following a racially motivated 2015 shooting at a predominately black church in Charleston, South Carolina, that killed nine parishoners.
“I was in the headline of the Washington Post,” Trump claimed during an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “My name, associated with this crazy bomber, ‘Trump bomber,’ or something. But I was in the headline when they got him. They didn’t say “bomber found.” They talked about ‘Trump’ in the headline.”
The suspected bomber, Cesar Sayoc Jr., was arrested and charged Friday in connection to over a dozen explosive devices that were mailed to Trump’s critics. Sayoc also appeared to be an ardent Trump supporter: in addition to sending disturbing messages and threats to his political opponents on social media, officials reportedly confiscated his van that was plastered with pro-Trump and anti-Democrat imagery.
Critics allege that Trump’s rhetoric toward his political opponents and the media incites anger among the public. Trump has previously called for jailing former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, an idea that frequently prompts chants of “lock her up” from supporters at his campaign rallies.
Trump claims there is a difference between his treatment from the media following the attempted bombings, and the treatment of Democratic leaders in past acts of violence. Trump referenced the 2017 Capitol Hill shooting of Republican Rep. Steve Scalise by 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, a supporter of Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders; and the 2015 Charleston church shooting, in which 21-year-old white-supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine black parishioners.
“Now, they didn’t do that with Bernie Sanders when he had … they didn’t do that with the Democrats when other people came out,” Trump said. “They didn’t do that with President Obama with the church. The horrible situation with the church. They didn’t do that.”