On Wednesday, CNN’s building had to be evacuated in New York after a pipe bomb addressed to former CIA chief John Brennan (in reality, an MSNBC contributor) and the news network was found in the mail.
Brennan, an outspoken critic of President Trump, was one of several targets of the president’s ire to receive an explosive device in the mail—including CNN, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack and Michelle Obama, former attorney general Eric Holder, Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Dem megadonor George Soros. (Trump’s media allies, rather predictably, pushed insane conspiracy theories about this being a liberal plot—to bomb themselves—ahead of the midterms.)
“Now, we obviously don’t know yet who sent these bombs, and it’s important to let law enforcement conduct an investigation,” said Seth Meyers on Wednesday’s Late Night. “In fact, the only thing we do know so far is that whoever did this is not only a horrible person, but a moron—because they tried to list the address of Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the return address, but on the envelope they spelled it ‘Florids.’ Well, that narrows it down to anyone who still doesn’t have spellcheck. What did they write that with, Microsoft Word 87? Even Clippy would have caught that!”
Meyers dedicated the majority of his “A Closer Look” segment to the mail bombs, and criticized Trump for passing the buck.
“In a scary moment like this you might expect the president to call for calm—to tone down his own rhetoric and direct his supporters to do the same. Instead, President Trump initially outsourced that job to Vice President Mike Pence,” Meyers explained.
Indeed, Trump at first merely retweeted Pence’s message, along with the comment, “I agree wholeheartedly!”
“Hey, man, you’re the president! You’re supposed to say something to calm people down! You can’t just add your name to someone else’s statement like you’re signing a get-well-soon card for a co-worker!” Meyers exclaimed.
Later on, Trump delivered his own statement on the assassination attempts: “We have to unify, we have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message: that acts—or threats—of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.” (CNN further reported that the White House did not reach out to the Obamas or Clintons.)
“What we saw today was an actual attempt at real violence against political figures. It’s not the same as, say, confronting a politician in public, and yet for weeks, we’ve all been lectured by the self-appointed civility police about how it’s bad to interrupt people’s dinners like it’s the same thing,” said a fired-up Meyers, pointing to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell having his meal interrupted by an angry constituent, an incident that received endless coverage in conservative media as an example of the “incivility” of the left.
“Everyone was freaking out about McConnell having his meal interrupted, but a day earlier the president was onstage in Montana actually celebrating a congressman body-slamming a reporter, and reenacting that body-slam onstage,” argued Meyers, throwing to video of Trump playfully mimicking Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT) body-slamming Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs for merely asking a question about health care during his candidacy. The president has also repeatedly branded the press “the enemy of the people.”
“The president’s words matter—whether it’s his lies about the media or his attacks on immigration,” Meyers concluded.