- The Washington Times - Friday, October 26, 2018

Hours after the FBI arrested a Trump supporter and charged him with attempting to bomb Democrats, President Trump blasted the media for trying to “score political points” with its overwhelming focus on the man’s political leanings.

And even as Mr. Trump called for lowering the heat of the political debate, his supporters at a campaign rally in North Carolina continued to chant the slogans such as “CNN sucks” that appear to have been favorites of the man accused of the bombings.

The rally and Mr. Trump’s reaction suggested a defiant approach to the news of the arrest and to press coverage that attempted to lay blame for the series of pipe bombs at the foot of the president and his followers.

Mr. Trump said it is the press that must change, altering the way it’s covered him and those GOP followers. He said coverage of his administration has been 94 percent negative.

“We want honest coverage from the media. That’s all we want,” he said.

Mr. Trump did praise the FBI and police for their quick action in arresting Cesar Sayoc, who has been charged with the 13 pipe bombs authorities say were detected this week en route to major Trump political opponents, including former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, several prominent members of Congress and former Obama administration officials.

Mr. Sayoc’s van was plastered with Trump-style rhetoric including “CNN Sucks” and photos of Democrats and liberal media figures with target crosshairs imposed over them.

“Everyone will benefit if we can end the politics of personal destruction,” the president said Friday night at a campaign rally in North Carolina, then pivoted to attack the press.

Mr. Trump said he found the press obsession with Mr. Sayoc’s political leanings untoward and compared it to coverage of the man who attacked Republicans at baseball practice last year, gravely wounding one of them. The man had been a volunteer for Sen. Bernard Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate in 2016.

“We did not use that heinous attempt at mass murder for political gain because that would have been wrong,” the president said.

Minutes later, when Mr. Trump mentioned 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, the crowd went into the Trump-inspired chant “Lock her up!”

The president seemed to realize that wasn’t a good look.

“They’re going to be reporting about you tonight,” he told the crowd, while indicating the media gathered to cover the rally.

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