President Donald Trump tweeted Friday the spate of suspicious packages being mailed to Democrats and other political foes was "very unfortunate" since it slowed down Republican political momentum ahead of the midterms.
"Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this "Bomb" stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows – news not talking politics. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!" he tweeted.
The midterm elections are 11 days away as Republicans try to hold onto both houses of Congress in what will be viewed as a referendum on Trump's first two years in office. Trump has campaigned across the country in recent weeks, including a stop in Texas on Monday with one-time primary foe Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas).
The news has been dominated since Wednesday by the discovery of 12 packages with potential explosive devices being mailed to various political and cultural critics of Trump, including former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton, ex-CIA Director John Brennan—via CNN headquarters in New York—Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) and actor Robert de Niro.
None of the bombs have exploded and no one has taken responsibility for the packages. Experts told Reuters it appears they are designed as a scare tactic more than an actual effort to do bodily harm.
Some right-wing media personalities have peddled the theory that the packages are a left-wing "false flag." Fox Business host and Trump ally Lou Dobbs sent a now-deleted tweet calling them "fake bombs" and "fake news," and popular radio host Rush Limbaugh said "Republicans just don’t do this kind of thing."
"You’ve got people trying to harm CNN and Obama and Hillary and Bill Clinton and Debbie ‘Blabbermouth' Schultz and, you know, just, it might serve a purpose here," he said.
Trump condemned the mailing of the packages on Wednesday and called on the country to unify.
"The full weight of our government is being deployed to conduct this investigation and bring those responsible for these despicable acts to justice," he said. "We will spare no resources or expense in this effort. In these times, we have to unify. We have to come together, and send one clear, strong unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America."
CNN President Jeff Zucker ripped Trump on Wednesday for not grasping the seriousness of his rhetoric against the media—Trump frequently calls the press "fake news" and even the "enemy of the people." He fired back in an early-morning tweet on Friday for CNN's assigning of blame to him.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday that law enforcement is working around the clock to bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice.
"Across the administration, we condemn the actions that led to these activities in the strongest possible terms," Sessions said at a Justice Department opioids event.