Toobin: Bomb targets all people Trump hates

CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin calls out President Donald Trump for using violent rhetoric in his criticism of CNN and political opponents.

Posted: Oct 25, 2018 4:55 PM
Updated: Oct 25, 2018 5:07 PM

In President Donald Trump's brief remarks Wednesday about bombs mailed to prominent Democrats who stand in opposition to him, and to the media organization Trump has repeatedly demonized, he did the least a President could do. Although he used words such as "abhorrent" and "despicable," Trump struggled to sound like a true leader of a nation wracked by political conflict that he has intensified to critical mass.

His quiet tone of voice came across as insincere to anyone who is familiar with the intensity of his rally performances, and his failure to mention CNN, the media outlet targeted, exposed where his heart truly lies. This is a man who views the objects of his anger and mockery as less-than-deserving of respect, and who lacks the instinct for decency. He waited for his Vice President, and his daughter, Ivanka, to offer words of support for the targets before he tweeted three mere words -- "I agree wholeheartedly!"

Coming from a man who has often electrified the internet with tweets before the nation is even awake, this response was a pathetic effort.

Then, when he spoke publicly Wednesday afternoon about the threats, Trump offered weak words about bipartisan unity.

It wasn't until Wednesday night, at a rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin, that he took a concrete stance, saying "any acts or threats of political violence are an attack on our democracy itself. ... There is one way to settle our disagreements, it's called peacefully at the ballot box."

But, given Trump's track record, these words carry little weight. Trump campaigned as a divider with no pretense of uniting the nation. As he vilified the national media, especially CNN, he sought to dehumanize reporters as "scum," "horrible," and, worst of all, "enemy of the people."

During his campaign, Trump wistfully recalled the days when protesters were brought away from events "on stretchers" and offered to pay legal fees should a supporter attack a dissenter at a Trump rally. Now, he has no standing to call for peace and unity.

Hillary Clinton, who is still subject to chants of "lock her up!" at Trump rallies, was smeared as "crooked Hillary," as if she were really a criminal. And who doesn't remember the years-long effort Trump made to cast doubt on President Obama's legitimacy with divisive, conspiracy-theory rhetoric about his birthplace?

We have no idea who sent the bombs and no idea what the motive was. But what we can say is that the conspiracy theories Trump promotes, like the violent rhetoric he uses, have degraded the political environment to the point at which the kind of terrorism that comes with mail bombs is not a surprise. This trouble was foreshadowed during the campaign when two men attacked a Hispanic man in Massachusetts while saying "Donald Trump was right. All these illegals need to be deported."

Another instance of Trump-galvanized violence featured one of his supporters cold-cocking a protester at a rally; and yet another saw a reporter man-handled by Trump's campaign manager at a press conference.

More recently, a California man who possessed 20 firearms was arrested after threatening staff at the Boston Globe. He had used Trump's "enemy of the people" line in his calls to the paper.

Given the President's construction of an alternate universe where he's permitted to utter lies by the thousands without ever taking responsibility, his inept attempt to address Wednesday's bomb threats was, perhaps, inevitable. Trump has consistently played with the fire of violent talk and has thrived on a strategy of going where others, for good reason, won't. Many of his fellow Republicans have seemingly lost the will to rebuke him, and he has so thoroughly divided the nation that a subset of Americans thrive on the energy of his hateful speech.

As President, he has legitimized rage, set the conditions for the danger that is on the rise, and diminished our ability to even engage each other with goodwill and civility.

Trump's rhetoric long ago crossed a line. Now he can never be the leader who can bring us back to where we were before he came along with his diatribes and anger.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly quoted President Trump at his rally in Wisconsin.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 664446

Reported Deaths: 12663
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion909511650
Lake48568884
Allen36004640
Hamilton32182398
St. Joseph30166513
Elkhart25453419
Vanderburgh21300382
Tippecanoe20143203
Johnson16407361
Porter16042276
Hendricks15877300
Clark12018181
Madison11776319
Vigo11660231
Monroe10379163
Delaware9870179
LaPorte9802198
Howard9083199
Kosciusko8582111
Bartholomew7488147
Warrick7438151
Hancock7428133
Floyd7243170
Wayne6648192
Grant6446157
Boone610989
Morgan6106126
Dubois5925112
Dearborn549969
Cass547299
Marshall5439105
Henry542594
Noble510578
Jackson465167
Shelby461991
Lawrence4193113
Harrison402564
Gibson402083
Clinton396753
Montgomery389683
DeKalb387178
Knox357885
Miami357863
Whitley350237
Huntington347377
Steuben339555
Wabash332676
Putnam331260
Ripley327862
Adams324749
Jasper318143
White297952
Jefferson295874
Daviess285696
Fayette272156
Decatur271188
Greene262080
Posey261431
Wells258675
Scott251350
LaGrange241870
Clay241444
Randolph225676
Spencer218930
Jennings216344
Washington212827
Sullivan203639
Fountain202142
Starke189051
Owen183253
Fulton179837
Jay178528
Carroll176619
Perry173736
Orange171250
Rush165322
Vermillion161442
Franklin159635
Tipton148441
Parke140016
Pike128233
Blackford120727
Pulaski107344
Newton96632
Brown95140
Benton92213
Crawford91713
Martin80314
Warren75914
Switzerland7558
Union67510
Ohio54011
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 974480

Reported Deaths: 16750
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1125851214
Cuyahoga964441832
Hamilton736841034
Montgomery47424903
Summit40474802
Butler35678505
Lucas35588685
Stark29495803
Warren22510271
Lorain22111414
Mahoning19532537
Lake18471318
Clermont18459201
Delaware16537116
Licking15037189
Fairfield14587180
Trumbull14381413
Greene13626218
Medina13448226
Clark12319248
Wood11604163
Portage11078164
Allen10804216
Richland10334183
Miami10048189
Muskingum8204112
Columbiana8160200
Pickaway8079107
Tuscarawas8063227
Marion8006125
Wayne7898193
Erie6925140
Ross6161128
Geauga6097136
Hancock6013116
Ashtabula5993152
Scioto597780
Lawrence527218
Union515237
Darke5040114
Belmont497659
Huron4838107
Jefferson4814107
Sandusky4785108
Seneca4709107
Washington470991
Athens465447
Mercer459180
Auglaize456480
Shelby442479
Knox4045101
Putnam400090
Madison394253
Ashland381381
Fulton381258
Defiance372983
Brown372244
Crawford359096
Logan356072
Preble353678
Clinton341152
Highland328649
Ottawa324869
Williams302962
Jackson290745
Champaign289249
Guernsey288444
Perry270447
Fayette269441
Morrow260934
Henry247058
Hardin246558
Holmes243493
Coshocton238054
Van Wert230154
Gallia223131
Adams217436
Pike216026
Wyandot211747
Hocking194754
Carroll181641
Paulding160530
Meigs135930
Noble129333
Monroe116927
Morgan101119
Harrison100724
Vinton76613
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