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Former top GOP adviser: Trump has inflamed "cold civil war" in America - Metro US

Former top GOP adviser: Trump has inflamed “cold civil war” in America

Photo: Getty Images

President Trump‘s divisive rhetoric is responsible for the bombs sent to prominent Democrats this week, says former John McCain adviser Steve Schmidt, who accuses the president of having “stoked a cold civil war” in the United States.

As of Thursday night, authorities have intercepted 10 packages containing crude pipe bombs, all sent to prominent Democratic critics or opponents of Trump, including former President Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), former Attorney General Eric Holder and former CIA director John Brennan.

Each has been subjected to name-calling and occasional conspiracy theorizing by Trump at his rallies and on his Twitter account.

“Trump has stoked a cold civil war in this Country,” wrote Schmidt on Twitter. “His rallies brim with menace and he has labeled journalists as enemies of the people. That someone would seek to kill their political enemies is not aberrational but rather the inevitable consequence of Trumps incitement.”

Schmidt — an MSNBC contributor who left the Republican party over its embrace of Trump — was John McCain’s senior adviser during the senator’s 2008 presidential campaign. (He was portrayed by Woody Harrelson in the HBO movie “Game Change.”)

Trump has been criticized for creating an incendiary political environment that could lead to violence. It began at his 2016 campaign rallies, where Trump encouraged his supporters to punch a protestor in the face and said he would pay the resulting legal bills. He labeled Hillary Clinton “Crooked Hillary,” encouraging chants of “Lock her up” at those rallies — the chants continue today, occasionally directed at other prominent Democratic women — and suggesting the “Second Amendment people” should assassinate Clinton if she were elected.

Last week, he praised Montana GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte for body-slamming a reporter who asked him a question about health care.

On Thursday, Trump accused the media of stoking “the anger we see in our society” and accepted no personal responsibility for the current political climate.

Trump has tweeted images suggesting CNN reporters should be assaulted or killed, including one cartoon in which a CNN reporter is about to be run over by a train. CNN’s headquarters at Time Warner Center were evacuated on Wednesday after a pipe bomb was mailed there, addressed to Brennan.

Trump has repeatedly labeled the American press — the only industry protected by the U.S. Constitution — “the enemy of the people.” He consistently labels stories critical of his administration as “fake news,” including those with video evidence.

Even prominent Republicans criticized Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric until he won the Republican presidential nomination. Since then, they have taken no action to censure the president.

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