HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — President Donald Trump attacked the media on Friday afternoon, accusing reporters of inciting violence just one week after a series of explosive devices were mailed to critics of the president, as well as one media outlet.
“You know what, you’re creating violence by your question. You are creating. You," Trump said at the White House as he left for a campaign rally, pointing to a reporter who said some had suggested the president's rhetoric could be encouraging violence. "...The fake news is creating violence."
“I'll tell you what, if the media would write correctly and write accurately and write fairly, you’d have a lot less violence in the country,” he added.
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On Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders rejected the notion that Trump blamed the media for violence.
“No, the president is not placing blame,” Sanders said when asked if the president was suggesting the news media was at fault for the attempted pipe bomb attacks. “I mean, that is outrageous than anybody other than the individual who carried out the crime would hold that responsibility.”
The president on Friday also appeared to back away from his comment the day before that troops along the U.S.-Mexico border might shoot at immigrants approaching the border under some circumstances, saying then that “when they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I say, consider it a rifle."
On Friday, he said soldiers "won't have to fire."
If anyone were to throw rocks at troops, "they're gonna be arrested, there's gonna be problems," he said. "I didn't say 'shoot.' But they do that with us, they're gonna be arrested for a long time."
Trump reiterated his intention to terminate the constitutionally provided right to birthright citizenship through an executive order, despite question surrounding the legality of such a move. “The Supreme Court will determine that,” he said.
The president planned to speak later Friday at campaign rallies in West Virginia and Indiana.