In the wake of the failed mail-bomb attacks on CNN and prominent Democrats this week, Corey Stewart, the Republican candidate for Senate in Virginia, made it clear whom he holds responsible: the intended victims.
In a tweet posted late Wednesday night, Stewart, who likes to boast that he “was Trump before Trump was Trump,” wrote that “CNN is full of crap,” linking to an article on CNN’s website titled “Trump’s attacks on media have real-life consequences.”
Hours earlier, CNN’s New York offices had been evacuated after a suspicious package containing a suspected pipe bomb was found inside the building. The attempted attack on the cable news network, a frequent object of President Trump’s taunts, came as other suspicious packages were found at the offices of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and the home of George Soros, the billionaire investor and liberal philanthropist who is regularly the object of right-wing conspiracy theories.
In another tweet, Stewart described Soros as “the King of Hate.”
The attempted attacks were linked by commentators to the president’s divisive rhetoric and his outright endorsement of violence against journalists as recently as last week, when he praised Montana congressman Greg Gianforte for assaulting a reporter during his campaign. In a statement Wednesday, CNN President Jeff Zucker charged that “there is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media” and implored the president and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to “understand their words matter.”
George Soros’s son, Alexander Soros, expressed a similar sentiment in a New York Times op-ed piece, observing that attacks by extremists against his father, often using anti-Semitic language and images, had increased in frequency and vitriol since Trump’s campaign for president in 2016.
“While the responsibility lies with the individual or individuals who sent these lethal devices to my family home and Mr. Obama’s and Ms. Clinton’s offices,” wrote the younger Soros, “I cannot see it divorced from the new normal of political demonization that plagues us today.”
Linking to a Daily Mail article about the Soros op-ed, Stewart issued a tweet Thursday morning calling George Soros “the King of Hate” and accusing the wealthy donor of financing “every left wing, violate [sic] hate group in America, including ANTIFA.”
George Soros, the King of Hate, blames Trump for the political violence in America. Soros finances every left wing, violate hate group in America, including ANTIFA https://t.co/zVBo2WpRop
— Corey Stewart (@CoreyStewartVA) October 25, 2018
In addition to his own critical tweets about CNN and Soros, Stewart also retweeted a post Wednesday night by conservative game show host Chuck Woolery, which echoed a theory promoted by several others on the right that the alleged bombing attempts were simply a “false flag” operation to generate sympathy for Democrats ahead of the midterm elections.
“Surprise! The #Democrats saying these bombs are #Trumps fault. Didn’t see that one coming,” read the Woolery tweet promoted by Stewart. “Seems too well organized just before the midterms. I could be wrong but I’ll take my chances on this one.”
Stewart regularly accuses his Democratic opponent, incumbent Sen. Tim Kaine, of supporting the far-left, anti-fascist militant movement known as Antifa. In an overnight tweet, the Republican senatorial hopeful wrote, “There should be ZERO tolerance for political violence.” He added: “Sadly, Tim Kaine’s standard allows for violence. He has no credibility here. If Kaine opposed political violence, he’d have disavowed ANTIFA long ago.” (Kaine has publicly denounced political violence, including acts committed by members of Antifa.)
In response to a request for comment about his most recent tweets about Soros and CNN, Stewart once again pointed the finger at Kaine, repeating the unsubstantiated claim that “Kaine’s son is a member of Antifa.”
“Unlike Tim Kaine, I condemn all forms of political violence,” Stewart said in a statement to Yahoo News. “Kaine, on the other hand, has repeatedly refused to condemn Antifa, a violent, left-wing organization that attacks anyone who disagrees with its radical views, including police officers and journalists.”
Law enforcement officials reported Thursday that additional suspicious packages have been intercepted, addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden and actor Robert De Niro.
Less than 24 hours after condemning the “threats of political violence,” Trump also joined in the finger-pointing on Thursday, tweeting, “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.”
Read more Yahoo News midterms coverage:
- Trump and Cruz make the best of their forced embrace
- Red-tide awakening: How Florida’s environmental woes could hurt Rick Scott
- ‘Outside agitators’ phrase resurfaces in Georgia governor’s race
- Menendez race pits ethical concerns against party loyalty, and loyalty is winning
- Portrait of a moderate district: NJ-11 leans R, but the race leans D
- In Senate race, GOP Rep. Blackburn accuses her opponent of being a Democrat
- Photos: Suspicious packages sent to top Democrats, CNN and others
- See the rest of our midterms coverage >>>