Former CIA Director John Brennan accused President Donald Trump of encouraging “physical violence” Thursday after a series of apparent explosive devices were sent to prominent Democratic figures.
“Stop blaming others. Look in the mirror. Your inflammatory rhetoric, insults, lies, & encouragement of physical violence are disgraceful,” Brennan wrote on Twitter in response to President Trump’s tweet in which he linked false reporting to increasing levels of anger among Americans. “Clean up your act….try to act Presidential. The American people deserve much better. BTW, your critics will not be intimidated into silence.”
Stop blaming others. Look in the mirror. Your inflammatory rhetoric, insults, lies, & encouragement of physical violence are disgraceful. Clean up your act….try to act Presidential. The American people deserve much better. BTW, your critics will not be intimidated into silence. https://t.co/cS5qNiuU7o
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) October 25, 2018
Earlier Thursday, President Trump called on the media to “clean up its act” when it comes to reporting accurately, which he said has helped sow division in the U.S.
“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,” the president tweeted. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”
Brennan, who was one of the various one Obama-era officials sent a crude pipe bomb on Wednesday, criticized the president during a talk at the University of Texas at Austin, accusing Trump of using rhetoric that evokes sentiments of “anger” and “violence.”
“[President Trump’s] rhetoric too frequently fuels incidents that are now bleeding over into acts of violence,” the former intelligence chief said. “It’s clear that this rhetoric is counterproductive. It is un-American.”
“What he said today is what the president should be doing but follow up on those actions, and I hope this is a turning point,” said Brennan, a senior advisor to the college’s Intelligence Studies Project, told the audience.
“Unfortunately I think Donald Trump, too often, has helped to incite some of these feelings of anger, if not violence,” he added.
Earlier that day, CNN’s New York City studios were evacuated following the discovery of what was later determined to be an explosive device addressed to Brennan, who recently joined MSNBC as a contributor.
U.S. Secret Service personnel on Tuesday evening and Wednesday intercepted explosive devices addressed to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama. Shortly after news broke of the interceptions, the White House strongly condemned the attempted bomb attacks and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
“We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “These terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”