#MAGABomber: Mail Bomb Suspect Cesar Sayoc Jr. Was Radicalized By Trump’s Rhetoric
After today’s development, it now seems indisputable: the President of the United States and conservative media’s reckless rhetoric helped radicalize a terrorist.
The Lede: Cesar Sayoc Jr. has been arrested in connection with the attempted mass murder targeting Trump critics that include President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, senior Democratic political leaders, a former director of the CIA, and the Time Warner Center where CNN is located. Sayoc is a 56-year-old Florida resident with ties to New York. He has a lengthy criminal record which includes bomb threats. Sayoc’s social media accounts have also been uncovered, which include numerous posts threatening violence against Democrats, pro-Trump memes, and footage of Sayoc at a Trump rally. He also was the sole follower of Facebook pages called “Kill George Soros” and “Kill All Socialists.”
Sayoc’s truck, which was found by the FBI by in Plantation, Florida, was covered in President Trump’s seal and other right-wing/MAGA paraphernalia.
— Adam (@aalali44) October 26, 2018
The van of the man arrested in connection with the mail bombs shows a picture of Hillary Clinton with a target on her face. pic.twitter.com/fUBin5PAmI
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) October 26, 2018
Sayoc was also a Fox News fan.
Key Takeaways from alleged #MAGABomber Cesar Sayoc’s Twitter…
— Jonathan Franks (@jonfranks) October 26, 2018
The news of Sayoc’s arrest came just after President Trump appeared to endorse the false flag theory being perpetuated by conservative media (which the FBI has now concluded is not the case, and that these were not hoax devices).
Let’s be very clear about what this tweet is:@POTUS just signaled an endorsement of the baseless false flag theories being spread by right-wing media, framing terrorism as a midterm distraction
This is his most depraved display of party over country yethttps://t.co/O5itHFQKxK
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) October 26, 2018
After Sayoc’s arrest was made public, President Trump read scripted remarks at a prescheduled event today condemning the attacks, but then continued his reckless rhetoric.
Trump hits “globalists” at WH event after call for unity in wake of bomb-scare suspects arrested. Several audience members shout out “George Soros” and others shout “lock ’em up.” Trump chuckles, points and repeats “lock ’em up.”
— Jordan Fabian (@Jordanfabian) October 26, 2018
The Context: As of Friday morning, there have been a total of 11 bomb targets and 14 bombs. All of the pipe bombs have a similar function and packaging. And all of the people who experienced these attempted assassinations have been repeatedly vilified and deemed enemies by the President of the United States.
- Billionaire liberal philanthropist George Soros (sent to his home in New York)
- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (sent to her home in New York)
- Former President Barack Obama (sent to his home in Washington)
- Former CIA Director John Brennan (sent to CNN- the Time Warner Center in New York)
- Former Attorney General Eric Holder
- Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA (One bomb sent to LA, another sent to Maryland’s congressional mail sorting facility)
- Actor Robert De Niro
- Former Vice President Joe Biden (One sent to New Castle, DE, another sent to Wilmington)
- Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
- Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper
- Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)
- Billionaire liberal philanthropist Tom Steyer
President Trump has long called the media the “enemy of the people,” called for his political opponents like Hillary Clinton to be jailed, questioned Barack Obama’s place of birth, and framed Democrats as “evil” enemies. And just last week, President Trump praised GOP Congressman Greg Gianforte for criminally body slamming reporter Ben Jacobs.
The Analysis: In moments of great crisis, the American people look to the president to assuage their fears. In times of divisiveness, we look to the president to unite us. In times of volatile political violence, the president is supposed to encourage peaceful coexistence. But that is not the case in 2018. Instead, the American people have come to expect the president to exacerbate crises, stoke divisiveness, and encourage political violence. President Trump is perpetuating the very things he has sworn to protect the American people from.
What Donald Trump and his allies are doing is dangerous. This isn’t a game. Lives are at risk. The President of the United States is cultivating an environment where political violence is encouraged. Trump and his allies in conservative media spread disinformation, gaslighting his supporters into a state of such hatred and delusion that we now have a radicalized terrorist who attempted to act on that hatred.
The president is supposed to remind Americans of their common values, not lie to them about their differences. President Trump’s political platform is to divide and conquer. And now we have further proof he is willing to continue his culture war, even if there may be casualties.