Thursday, 15 Nov 2018

Trump mocks Democratic megadonor Tom Steyer, the target of a pipe bomb, as 'stumbling lunatic'

Tom Steyer shown at a meeting in Largo, Md., In March. (Jahi Chikwendiu / The Washington Post)

President Trump on Sunday lashed out at billionaire Democratic activist Tom Steyer, ridiculing him as a "stumbling lunatic" days after Steyer was targeted for a pipe bombs sent to prominent critics of the president.

Trump's tweet cam shortly after Steyer accused the president and the Republican Party of creating an atmosphere of "political violence" in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union."

"Just watched Wacky Tom Steyer, who's seen in action before, be interviewed by @jaketapper," Trump said in the tweet. "He comes off a crazed and stumbling lunatic who should be running out of money pretty soon. As bad as their field is, if he is running for President, the Dems will eat him alive! "

Steyer, a philanthropist and former hedge fund manager, is best known for his "Need to Impeach" campaign calling for Trump's removal from office. Last week, he was among the high-profile Democrats across the country to whom a 56-year-old Florida man, Cesar Sayoc, allegedly feels package bombs. The package addressed to Steyer was intercepted in California, according to officials. Sayoc was arrested on Friday and accused of a crime in connection with the mail bombs.

Steyer denounced Trump in a tweet later Sunday afternoon in which he said the president had "just tweeted at me in his typical insulting style."

"Steward said," It is unthinkable that in the midst of the horrible political violence of our country, "said Steyer.

Trump's Attack on Steyer is in the midst of a wider debate on the role of political rhetoric following the mail bombs, as well. Some, such as Vice President Pence, have defended Trump in the wake of shooting, while others have called for him to tone down his language.

On Sunday, Steyer gave Trump some credit for his slaughter in Pittsburgh but said the president has contributed to the poor political climate.

"Well, I think it's appropriate," Steyer told CNN's Jake Tapper. "But there's something much bigger than that going on here, which is the atmosphere that he's created, and that the Republican Party has created, in terms of political violence."

Steyer said that while we have not done so well in recent months.

"I think that everyone on the Democratic side would look at that shooter of Congressman Scaling and absolutely condemn his action, and he and anyone associated with him," Steyer said, referring to the House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) during a congressional baseball practice last year. "So I think that this is actually a bit of a false equivalence – not that there is perfection on one side and absolute horror on the other, but we're seeing something that is not at all equivalent."

The billionaire denounced House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) To releasing a web video that criticizes Steyer, George Soros and Michael Bloomberg for trying to "buy" the midterm elections through their support of Democrats. Soros and Bloomberg are Jewish, and Steyer's late father was Jewish.

"In terms of interpreting what he said, that seems to me, like a straight-up anti-Semitic move," he said.

A pipe bomb addressed to Soros had already been intercepted, and by Wednesday, after similar bombs addressed to senior Democratic officials and CNN were also intercepted, McCarthy pulled down the video. His office issued a statement that was motivational behind the video.


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