It’s been three days since U.S. President Donald Trump stood in front of a crowd of thousands in Charlotte, N.C. and said the media has a “major role” to play in ending the “politics of personal destruction.”
Since then, he has continued to level attacks on the media, saving his latest for a Monday interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham.
Scroll to 8:45 for the relevant section:
In an exchange that covered the arrest of Cesar Sayoc, a Trump supporter and suspect in the mailings of pipe bombs to the president’s critics, he said other politicians haven’t been targeted when their supporters have carried out violent acts.
“I was in the headline of the Washington Post, my name associated with this crazy bomber,” he said.
“I was in the headline when they got him, they didn’t say ‘bomber found,’ they talked about Trump in the headline.”
The Washington Post story about Sayoc’s arrest carries the following headline: “Man in Florida arrested, charged in connection with mail bombs sent to public figures.”
Trump then talked about the shooting of Republican congressman Steve Scalise by James Hodgkinson, a left-wing activist and supporter of Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.
Here’s what he said:
“They didn’t do that with Bernie Sanders, they didn’t do that with Democrats when other people came out, they didn’t do that with President Obama with the church, the horrible situation with the church, they didn’t do that, they put my name in the headlines.”
The Fox News clip posted to YouTube did not show Trump specifying which church he was talking about.
But media following the interview surmised that he was talking about the 2015 shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., in which white supremacist Dylann Roof shot and killed nine African Americans and injured three other people.
Roof, who received nine consecutive life sentences, pleaded guilty in the case and had said he carried out the shootings in order to start a “race war.”
There’s nothing to suggest that Roof was an Obama supporter, and it’s unclear how Trump meant to link the former president to the Charleston shooting.
Roof has not been widely identified as a Democrat or a Republican — media reports at the time of the shooting only linked Roof to the latter party by noting that GOP politicians had accepted donations from a man whose organization inspired the Charleston shooter.
In his interview with Fox News, Trump went on to clarify his remarks that called the media the “enemy of the people.”
“When I say enemy of the people I’m talking about the fake news, and it is fake,” he said.
Ingraham asked which organizations he was talking about, but he didn’t answer.
Though he later complained about Dave Weigel, a Washington Post reporter who had tweeted a photo of a Trump rally venue, saying the event wasn’t full.
He later apologized.
“They had to retract it, but this is the kind of dishonesty that we have,” Trump said.
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