Leading up to the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, President Donald Trump has amplified his vituperation against the Democratic Party. From calling them “an angry mob” set out to destroy America’s democracy, to blaming them for secretly authorizing the moving caravan that’s poised to bring thousands of Central American migrants to the U.S. border. As always, most of his tirades are based on the fact-less reality that he inhabits. However, his words as the President of the United States has far-reaching consequences, a concept that almost always flies by him. On 24th October, a few of his prominent critics, ones that he had publicly condemned, were on the receiving end of a potential death threat.
The threat arrived in the form of a home-made pipe bomb, which was concealed in packages and mailed to prominent Democrats. Among them were former President Barrack Obama and 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Trump has never shied away from showcasing his disdain towards Obama, calling him the “worst president” on numerous occasions. Similarly, he has constantly managed to rile up his supporters against Clinton – calling her “Crooked Hillary” and instigating chants of “Lock Her Up”. The U.S. Secret Service, however, was able to intercept and confiscate the packages before they made through to the Obama’s and Clinton’s mailbox. A similar package was also discovered before it reached former attorney general Eric Holder, while the FBI reported finding two suspicious packages addressed to Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
Meanwhile, one such package made its way into the New York studios of prominent news media outlet CNN. Trump has been vocal against CNN’s reporting, calling it “fake News” and the “Enemy of the People.” The package was addressed to former CIA director and harsh Trump critic John Brennan. Brennan has recently been stripped of his CIA clearance after speaking out against Trump, and has since used CNN’s platform to share his strong sentiment. After the NYPD confirmed the presence of a “live explosive device” in the mailroom, CNN was forced to evacuate its studios. Brennan spoke out against being targeted, stating that Trump’s rhetorics are now “bleeding over into, potentially, acts of violence.” He also said, “A lot of this rhetoric really is counterproductive, it is un-American, it is what a president should not be doing.”
Earlier, on 22nd October, a six-inch length of pipe loaded with explosive black powder was found in the mailbox of George Soros, the billionaire liberal donor. While it was safely detonated, the FBI has revealed that the explosive was similar to the ones found later – indicating the whole operation to be the work of one individual or organization. As the packages are being analyzed by the FBI at its lab in Virginia, an urgent manhunt is underway to identify the people behind the bombs.
Authorities have severely condemned the acts, occurring less than two weeks prior to the midterm elections. The mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, described the attempted bombings as “an act of terror”. Meanwhile, the NYPD commissioner, James O’Neill, said the recipients may have been selected because of their opposition to Trump. While Vice President Mike Pence tweeted that such acts don’t have a place in U.S. democracy, President Trump failed to provide his own message – instead retweeting his compadre.