President Donald Trump told Fox News host Laura Ingraham in an exclusive interview Monday that Cesar Sayoc, who is accused of sending more than a dozen crude pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and CNN, “was insane for a long time.”
“You look at his medical records. He was insane for a long time,” Trump told Ingraham on her show, “The Ingraham Angle.” The interview aired Monday evening.
The bombs were mailed to former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, former Attorney General Eric Holder and other high-profile Democrats.
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A bomb addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan was also sent to the Manhattan complex that houses CNN’s New York bureau, prompting an evacuation of the premises. Brennan is actually employed by NBC.
Asked by Ingraham about mainstream media reports suggesting Trump’s rhetoric calling “fake news” the “real enemy of the people” inspired the bomber, the president responded by pointing to how journalists reported the attack last year by a fan of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) who shot Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and others practicing for the annual congressional baseball game.
“Bernie Sanders had a fan who shot a very good friend of ours, Steve Scalise, and other people. He was a total maniac. Nobody puts his name in the headline, Bernie Sanders, in the headline,” Trump said.
Ingraham also asked the president about his remarks at a recent Make America Great Again rally in which he declared himself a “nationalist.” Democrats and media talking heads have cited Trump’s declaration as evidence that he is, in fact, a “white nationalist.”
Ingraham asked the chief executive if he wanted to take the interview as an opportunity to clarify his definition of “a nationalist.”
“No. To me, I don’t have to clarify,” Trump responded. “It means I love the country. I look at two things: globalists and nationalists. I’m somebody who wants to take care of our country because for many, many years, our leaders — you know this better than anybody — our leaders have been more worried about the world than about the United States. And they leave us in a mess, whether it’s the wars, whether it’s the economy, whether it’s debt, whether it’s all of the things that they’ve done, including putting in the wrong Supreme Court Justices, and we’ve really put two great ones in.”
Trump continued, noting that he is “proud of this country, and I call that ‘nationalism.’ I call it being a nationalist and I don’t see any other connotation than that.”
“I want to help people around the world, but we have to take care of our country, or we won’t have a country, including, we have to take care of our country at the border.”
“As soon as you make any statement nowadays with the political correctness world, they make a big deal. I’m not a globalist,” Trump noted. “I want to take care of the globe, but first I have to take care of our country. I want to help people around the world, but we have to take care of our country, or we won’t have a country, including, we have to take care of our country at the border.”
One of Trump’s signature campaign promises has been to put “America First” in foreign-policy issues, particularly in his determination to renegotiate international trade deals that disadvantage American manufacturers and farmers.
Trump has also been the subject of multiple accusations in the media linking his rhetoric to the horrendous massacre Saturday of 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Ingraham asked, “When you hear people use the phrase ‘anti-Semitism’ to describe anything connected to you — you have a Jewish daughter, you have grandchildren who are Jewish. What’s your reaction to that?”
The chief executive pointed to his receipt of an award from Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, “thanking me because I moved the, as you know, the embassy to Jerusalem, making Jerusalem the capital of Israel and I just did that.”
He emphasized that previous chief executives had promised to move the embassy but never did it, then pointed out that Charles Bowers, the accused synagogue shooter, “this horrible human being, this terrible person that did the shooting, he was not a Donald Trump fan, because he said I was too close to Israel.”