October 25, 2018 / 11:30 AM / 20 days ago

Trump blames news media as two more suspicious packages are discovered

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin, U.S., October 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump blamed news media outlets on Thursday for stirring up anger and hateful political rhetoric as two more suspicious packages were discovered, addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden and actor Robert De Niro.

“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,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”

The wave of suspected bombs on Wednesday and Thursday targeted well-known Democratic Party figures and critics of Trump as a manhunt intensified for a serial bomber less than two weeks before congressional elections on Nov. 6.

None of the nine devices exploded and no injuries were reported, but some top Democrats called the threats a symptom of a coarsening brand of political rhetoric promoted by Trump, who also condemned the acts.

One target of the suspicious devices, former CIA Director John Brennan, hit back at Trump on Twitter on Thursday.

“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,” Brennan said.

Trump was briefed on the latest suspicious packages found on Thursday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

Sanders, speaking in an interview on Fox News, said the White House continued to condemn any attempted violence and would continue to direct federal resources toward the ongoing investigation.

Reporting by Susan Heavey and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe

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