WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s call for unity in the wake of this week’s bomb scares was met with an icy response from Democratic leaders in both chambers Wednesday.
“We 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,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement. “However, President Trump’s words ring hollow until he reverses his statements that condone acts of violence.”
The two pointed to a variety of comments Trump has made since assuming the presidency.
“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,” the statement reads.
On Wednesday morning, the Secret Service confirmed that they intercepted suspicious packages addressed to former President Barack Obama, former First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
An additional package addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan was detected later in the mail room at CNN’s office building in New York, prompting an evacuation off Time Warner Center in midtown Manhattan.
Authorities concluded that the packages contained crude explosive devices.
Police also intercepted twon suspicious packages addressed to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and one to former Attorney General Eric Holder.
On Monday, a potentially explosive device was similarly found in a mailbox at an upstate New York residence owned by billionaire George Soros.
As the incident developed, the White House issued a statement Wednesday morning condemning the “attempted violent attacks.”
Trump made his first remarks on the matter that afternoon, pledging a robust federal response.
“The full weight of our government is being deployed to conduct this investigation and bring those responsible for these despicable acts to justice,” Trump said in remarks from the White House’s East Room. “We will spare no resources or expense in this effort.”
While Trump has previously criticized most of those swept up in the bomb scare, he delivered a rare appeal Wednesday for unity.