The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Trump has called package recipients ‘a lying machine,’ ‘weak,’ ‘low IQ,’ ‘neurotic’ and worse

President Trump did not accept responsibility for stoking political tensions, even after pipe bombs were mailed to critics who are routinely targeted by Trump. (Video: JM Rieger/The Washington Post)
Placeholder while article actions load

The more than dozen recipients of potentially explosive packages in recent days have all been outspoken critics of President Trump. And in almost all cases, Trump has punched back at them on Twitter, one of his favorite means of communication.

Here’s a rundown of what the president has said about the package recipients:

James R. Clapper Jr.

In April, after the former director of national intelligence became a contributor to CNN, a network that Trump repeatedly derides, Trump referred to Clapper as “a lying machine.”

Cory Booker

The Democratic senator from New Jersey has not been a frequent target of Trump, but he tweeted this put-down during the 2016 campaign: “If Cory Booker is the future of the Democratic Party, they have no future!”

Joe Biden

In March, after the former vice president said he would “beat the hell” out of Trump for disrespecting women, the president responded on Twitter, saying Biden was “weak, both mentally and physically” and “would go down fast and hard” in a fight.

Robert De Niro

After the acclaimed actor profanely described Trump at the Tony Awards in June, Trump called De Niro “a very Low IQ individual.”

Maxine Waters

Trump has repeated called the Democratic congresswoman from California a “low IQ person” and tried to hold her up as the “face of the Democratic Party.”

Eric Holder

The former attorney general and possible 2020 Democratic presidential candidate has not been a regular target of Trump on Twitter, but his name was included in a tweet last month that was intended as criticism of current Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump quoted Fox Business host Lou Dobbs suggesting the Justice Department was as biased against Republicans under Sessions as it was under Holder.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

During the 2016 elections, Trump referred to the Democratic congresswoman from Florida as “neurotic.” At the time, she was serving as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

John Brennan

In an August tweet, Trump said the former CIA director was “easily the WORST in history” and said he is now “nothing less than a loudmouth, partisan, political hack who cannot be trusted with the secrets to our country!” Trump has since revoked Brennan’s security clearance.

Barack Obama

The former president has been a frequent target, including in March 2017 when Trump, without evidence, accused Obama of wiretapping his phones in Trump Tower during the 2016 election. “Bad (or sick) guy!” Trump said.

Hillary Clinton

The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee and former secretary of state has faced Trump’s ire many times, including in May, when Trump questioned why special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team wasn’t focused on “Crooked Hillary Clinton” for her “many crimes.”

George Soros

Trump most recently made mention of the prominent Democratic donor during the Senate confirmation process of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. Trump, without evidence, accused Soros of paying protesters who came to the Capitol.

Tom Steyer

A year ago, Trump targeted the environmental activist who has called for his impeachment, saying he is “Wacky & totally unhinged,” and questioning his ability to influence elections.

Kamala D. Harris

Trump has not lashed out at the Democratic senator from California from his personal Twitter account, but in July, the official White House account was used to accuse her of being weak on immigration issues.

“.@SenKamalaHarris, why are you supporting the animals of MS-13? You must not know what ICE really does,” the White House said in a tweet, with a link to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement release about the removal of a Salvadoran MS-13 gang affiliate.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s home state. She is from Florida.