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Trump lectures critics, media on civility after pipe bombs sent to high-profile Democrats

Americans should not "compare political opponents to historical villains" and "not mob people in public," the president said.

MOSINEE, Wis. — President Donald Trump lectured Democrats and the media on civility after pipe bombs were mailed to several of his high-profile critics and CNN's New York offices Wednesday, but he abandoned the specific personal attacks on individual political adversaries that have been a hallmark of his speeches on the campaign stump.

There was no mention of Hillary Clinton, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., or Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., all frequent targets in the speeches Trump has been delivering several times a week around the country.

Speaking in an airport hangar here in central Wisconsin, Trump promised to "find those responsible" for sending bombs to former President Barack Obama, Clinton and other prominent critics and vowed to "bring them to justice."

As the president delivered his remarks, the FBI said it was investigating a second suspicious package addressed to Waters in Los Angeles after a first was discovered in Maryland earlier Wednesday.

Trump said he wanted Americans to "come together in peace and harmony."

Then, without naming a party, he pivoted to condemning Democrats.

Americans "should stop treating political opponents as morally defective," not "compare political opponents to historical villains" and "not mob people in public."

It was clear that Democrats, whom he later lambasted in policy terms, were his target.

Some on the left routinely compare Trump to brutal dictators, including Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, and the president has been campaigning against what he says are Democratic "mobs" for weeks.

Trump also said voters "must accept the verdicts of elections" — a clear reference to Democrats who have said his presidency is illegitimate because of Russian interference in the 2016 election and because he lost the popular vote.

The crowd cheered heartily at his remark about not mobbing political officials.

At one point, Trump said he was "trying to be nice" when he hit Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., pointing out that he had said the words "socialist takeover" in a soft voice rather than punctuating the words.

In addition to supporting Baldwin's rival, Leah Vukmir, Trump was in town to try to boost the chances of Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who is in danger of losing the job he's held since 2011 to Democrat Tony Evers.

It wasn't just Democrats whom Trump scolded. He also pointed a finger at the media, chiding them for "endless hostility."

"The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories," Trump said.

Trump again blamed the press in a tweet Thursday morning.

"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," he tweeted.

Some Trump supporters here said Wednesday they worry about the toxicity of the current political climate but do not blame Trump for it at all.

"I think it's nasty," said Sue Swafford, 66, of Gresham. She quickly added that "the Democrats" are to blame.

And Linda Edwards, a retired systems engineer who worked at Xerox, pointed her finger at coastal elites.

"In some ways, they do think they are smarter than we are, and they do think they are better than we are, and they think they can make better decisions with our money than we can — and that's B.S.," said Edwards, 71, of Schofield. "I'm a pretty smart cookie."