WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said President Trump has to “reverse” his previous statements “that condone acts of violence” after multiple pipe bombs were mailed to prominent Democrats.
Bombs were sent to the Chappaqua, N.Y., home of Hillary Clinton, the D.C. home of former President Obama, and to former CIA Director John Brennan at CNN headquarters in New York. Suspicious packages were also intercepted addressed to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) at the congressional mail sorting facility outside D.C. and addressed to former Attorney General Eric Holder; the package to Holder was addressed wrong and bounced back to the return address on the package, which was Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s (D-Fla.) home-state office.
That follows a pipe bomb found in George Soros’ mailbox by a property caretaker Monday afternoon in Katonah, N.Y. The package was hand-delivered.
Trump said at the outset of an unrelated White House event today that “this egregious conduct is abhorrent to everything we hold dear and sacred as Americans.”
“The full weight of our government is being deployed to conduct this investigation and bring those responsible for these despicable acts to justice. We will spare no resources or expense in this effort. And I just want to tell you that in these times, we have to unify. We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America,” he said.
“We’re extremely angry, upset, unhappy about what we witnessed this morning and we will get to the bottom of it,” the president added.
Congress is currently out of town for the campaign recess, but Schumer and Pelosi issued a joint statement declaring they “listened with great interest to the president’s remarks this afternoon.”
“We all take an oath to support and defend the Constitution and protect the American people, and that is our first responsibility,” they said. “However, President Trump’s words ring hollow until he reverses his statements that condone acts of violence.”
“Time and time again, the president has condoned physical violence and divided Americans with his words and his actions: expressing support for the congressman who body-slammed a reporter, the neo-Nazis who killed a young woman in Charlottesville, his supporters at rallies who get violent with protestors, dictators around the world who murder their own citizens, and referring to the free press as the enemy of the people,” Pelosi and Schumer added.
Their first example refers to Trump’s Thursday campaign rally in Montana, in which he referenced Rep. Greg Gianforte’s (R-Mont.) misdemeanor assault guilty plea last year for attacking Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. “Any guy who can do a bodyslam, he’s my kinda guy,” Trump said, mimicking a body slam.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) issued a statement today “condemning today’s attempted acts of domestic terrorism.”
“As we continue to learn more, Americans are united in gratitude for the first responders — the Secret Service, the Postal Service, and other law enforcement — who protect our leaders and public figures from such unconscionable acts,” McConnell added.
“Those behind such reprehensible acts must be brought to justice,” tweeted House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). “We cannot tolerate any attempt to terrorize public figures. I am grateful to the @SecretService, Capitol Police, and all law enforcement who guard against these threats.”