By Tessa Berenson
October 25, 2018

During a rally Wednesday, President Donald Trump blamed partisanship and the media for fostering the political environment that led to suspicious packages and explosive devices being sent to public figures and organizations this week.

Speaking in Mosinee, Wis., Trump called for civility in politics saying, “The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories.”

The audience at Central Wisconsin Airport cheered.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, CNN offices in New York City and former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz were among the intended recipients of the suspicious packages. The identity of the sender or senders is not yet known, nor is a motive.

Trump often criticizes CNN for its coverage of his administration. He has referred to the press as the “enemy of the people,” and his crowds sometimes break into chants of “CNN sucks” at his rallies.

Trump also used the opportunity to criticize liberal protesters.

“Those engaged in the political arena must stop treating political opponents as being morally defective,” Trump said Wednesday evening. “No one should carelessly compare political opponents to historical villains, which is done often. It’s done all the time. It’s got to stop. We should not mob people in public spaces or destroy public property.”

In recent weeks, Trump has taken to referring to Democrats as “the mob,” in part for how they handled Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.

Less than two weeks before the Nov. 6 midterm elections, Trump called for America to settle its disagreements “peacefully at the ballot box.”

“We want all sides to come together in peace and harmony,” Trump said. “We can do it.”

 

Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.berenson@time.com.

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