President Donald Trump, in a middle-of-the-night tweet, ripped CNN “and others” for allegedly "blaming" him for the wave of suspected pipe bombs mailed to prominent political and media figures — before later appearing to suggest that the timing of the "'bomb stuff" was disrupting Republican momentum ahead of the midterm elections.
“Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticize me at will, even blaming me for the current spate of Bombs and ridiculously comparing this to September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing, yet when I criticize them they go wild and scream, ‘it’s just not Presidential!’” Trump tweeted.
The tweet — which had a timestamp of 3:14 a.m. ET — marked the first time Trump mentioned CNN by name over its coverage of the suspicious packages and pipe bombs that were mailed to several of his high-profile critics and CNN's New York offices Wednesday. "
Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN Worldwide, criticized Trump for his anti-media rhetoric Wednesday. "The President, and especially the White House press secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that."
Later Friday morning, Trump, in another tweet, seemed to suggest that the timing of the sending of the pipe bombs had "greatly" slowed Republican "momentum" heading into the midterms, putting the word "bomb" in quotes in the post.
"Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this 'Bomb' stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows," Trump wrote, adding "news not talking politics. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!
The list of mail bombing targets included former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Attorney General Eric Holder and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and the outspoken anti-Trump actor Robert De Niro.
Two more packages containing explosive devices were discovered Friday, one in Florida addressed to Sen. Cory Booker and another in New York addressed to former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, officials said.
The package mailed to Clapper was addressed to CNN's New York offices, according to a picture obtained by NBC New York, and was discovered at a postal facility in midtown Manhattan.
Trump has previously criticized the media after news of the packages broke, but had refrained from mentioning any one network or organization by name of its coverage of them.
On Thursday he had tweeted that, “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,” calling it so bad and hateful that it is beyond description.”