President Trump complained Monday about the news coverage he has received related to the alleged pipe bomber, saying a different standard was applied to then-President Barack Obama when nine black worshipers were killed at a church in Charleston, S.C., during his tenure.
Trump highlighted the contrast during a wide-ranging interview with Laura Ingraham of Fox News, who pointed out that Cesar Sayoc, who allegedly sent more than a dozen mail bombs to leading Democrats and CNN, was a big Trump fan. None of the devices exploded.
“I was in the headline of The Washington Post, my name associated with this crazy bomber,” Trump said. “They didn’t do that with President Obama with the church, the horrible situation with the church — they didn’t do that.”
Dylann Roof, who was convicted of 33 counts of federal hate crimes in the 2015 shootings at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, was a self-described white supremacist who displayed Confederate flags on social media and expressed no affection for Obama.
Trump also asserted that a different standard was applied by the media when James Hodgkinson, a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), shot House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and others at a congressional baseball practice last year.
“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 with the maniac,” Trump said to Ingraham.
Sanders delivered a widely covered speech on the Senate floor after the shooting in which he said he was “sickened by this despicable act” by someone who volunteered on his presidential campaign.
“Let me be as clear as I can be,” Sanders said at the time. “Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society, and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values.”